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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Archive : Gold Pectoral of a Turtle Surrounded by a Ring Featuring Eight Small Turtles
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Gold Pectoral of a Turtle Surrounded by a Ring Featuring Eight Small Turtles - FJ.6245
Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area
Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 4.5" (11.4cm) high x 4.25" (10.8cm) wide
Catalogue: V23
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold


Additional Information: 198 grams Trudy,withdrawn

Location: Great Britain
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Description
The main body of this pectoral is a very beautiful turtle. On its back is a simple and effective pattern comprising three slim bands which come down at an angle, then quickly twist into a neat circle, before shooting upwards to join a thick band at the center. This incised band continues straight to near the end, then curls in opposite directions. Appliqued beads line the upper portion of the shell, giving added texture. The turtle's head is very precisely delineated, with its mouth open exposing rows of teeth. Its eyes are wide open and alert; its nose has tiny pinprick holes for nostrils. On the outside ring there are eight small turtles, each one with their own attributes. They rest on a complex network of interlacing double strands surmounted by a series of small trapezoidal shapes. The little turtles seem as if they are sitting on lily pads or aquatic vegetation, surrounding their mother who holds onto their "flotation" with all her flippers. This pectoral was probably made for an important chief or shaman, (often one and the same), who wore it during ritual ceremonies. The rattle inside would jangle when moved, announcing the person's approach. Whether for ritual use or ornamentation, the appeal of this turtle is universal and instantaneous. It shines with a luminosity beyond the raw gold, lustrous and lovely as only a superb work of art can be.....trudy - (FJ.6245)

 

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