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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Jewelry : Four Gold Pendants of Peccaries
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Four Gold Pendants of Peccaries - PF.4084
Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area
Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 1" (2.5cm) high
Catalogue: V21
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold


Additional Information: 24.7 Grams is the weight of one of them.

Location: United States
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Description
In 1610, a Spanish priest Fray Agustin de Zevallos, described the gold pieces he encountered in Costa Rica as marvels of workmanship, brilliantly fashioned into jewelry and used for barter or buried with the dead. Most of the gold came from streams in the Diquis region, where the finest goldsmiths created masterpieces of art. What is particularly fascinating is that the subject matter for jewelry was strictly controlled. The favorite animals were frogs, alligators, turtles, jaguars, peccaries and spiders. None of these creatures fall within the major food groups except for the peccary. Why this animal is singled out as an exception is unknown; but it is certainly undeniable that they make very charming and endearing subjects for jewelry. The peccary is unique to Central and South America, known to be both pugnacious and nurturing. These delightful pendants are so skillfully made they seem alive with life and personality. They appear at rest, perhaps enjoying a lazy afternoon by a stream; yet always alert to danger, their keen eyes on the look out for the swift jaguar or other predators. Peccaries move in groups, which may have caught the artist's imagination to create a necklace imitating a herd; given beautiful expression through the lustrous medium of gold. - (PF.4084)

 

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