Chiriqui Gold Avian Pendant - FJ.4922
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 11 th Century AD to 16 th Century AD
Dimensions: 3" (7.6cm) high
Catalogue: V6
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Chiriqui
Medium: Gold


The quality of gold that abounds here is very great, and of good karat, as can be seen from the plates of gold the Indians beat out--the rivers abound with gold--such a great quantity of gold as to swell two large chests. These are the words of the 16th century Spanish explorer Diego de Sojo, written after he experienced the extensive and exquisite gold artistry of ancient Costa Rica. Today this artistic heritage can still be enjoyed through such masterpieces as this gold avian pendant. A striking example of the bird-style pendant, this creature is the epitome of power and energy with emphasis place on soaring wings, exaggerated tail and head tufts. The model for these mythical beasts seems to have been carrion birds like the king vulture. Although most avian pendants have non-realisitc features or are in some way anthropomorphized like this fine example, the pose can be observed even today, when, after a rain, certain soaring birds spread their wings to dry while perched in a tree. The specific symbolism of this ancient creature may be lost in time but the projected power through the medium of gold and the crafted imagery of the pendant remain throughout time. - (FJ.4922)



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