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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Chiriqui Gold Pendant of a Monkey
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Chiriqui Gold Pendant of a Monkey - FJ.5120
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 11 th Century AD to 16 th Century AD
Dimensions: 2.875" (7.3cm) high
Catalogue: V8
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold


Additional Information: 88.7 Grams/heather/2

Location: Great Britain
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Description
"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 Do 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 pendant in the form of a monkey. For certain ancient tribes in Southern Costa Rica, monkeys were thought of as former men, and the spider monkey, in particular, was a warrior. Featured in a standing position, this dynamic monkey, with arms outstreched, grasps his tail which encircles the upper portion of his body. Masterfully worked spiral motifs ornament the curved tail and represent the monkey's large ears. His coffee-bean eyes, wide nose and snarling mouth complete this golden image, so revered by the ancient Costa Ricans. A complete mastery of the medium coupled with and aesthtic that was highly sensitive to the natural and supernatural world, resulted in works of art such as this gold pendant, that remain age-less in their spirited beauty. - (FJ.5120)

 

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