Pectoral (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

100 BC - AD 400
Calima
gold
Colombia, South America
Overall: 8 × 10 1/8 × 7/8 in. (20.32 × 25.72 × 2.22 cm)
61.38.2
Kidney-shaped pectorals in the Calima style are among the most sophisticated and elaborate examples of gold jewelry produced in Ancient America. They typically include a stylized portrait of either the owner or an ancestor. This figure wears large, flared earspools and a nose clip; a large, embossed “halo” surrounds its head. The wearing and displaying of ancestral portraits was a common method of validating rulership, for the wearer of the pectoral in effect assumed the supernatural state of the dead ancestor.
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund
2018: Collecting for the Commonwealth Preserving for the Nation, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1919-2018, Winter Antiques Show, Park Avenue Armory, New York City, NY, January 18 - 26, 2018.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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