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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Archive : Veraguas Gold Nugget with a Carved Figure
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Veraguas Gold Nugget with a Carved Figure - FJ.5032
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 11 th Century AD to 16 th Century AD
Dimensions: 2.25" (5.7cm) high
Catalogue: V11
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold

Additional Information: 99.3 Grams: SOLD

Location: United States
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Metal objects appeared on the Isthmus of Panama during the first five hundred years of the Christian era. Inspired by the ancient artisans of Colombia, the Panamanian craftsmen soon developed their own distinctive styles. Gold objects rapidly became the primary symbols of authority in Isthmanian society. Important members of society bedecked their bodies with gold. They used it to bribe allies and to pay ransoms for captured sons. Gold even accompanied important people in death. The chronicles of sixteenth century explorers mention the funeral rites of ancient Panamanians, all of whom were "covered in gold." In life and in death then, gold was the symbol of rank and prestige for the Panamanians. The power and dynamism of their goldwork can be seen in this spirited nugget of worked gold. With arms outstretched and fists in a gripping posture, the figure within this nugget appears to be struggling for his freedom-a release from the golden prison that surrounds him. A tilted head combined with a grimacing facial expression add to the figure's powerful poignancy. We can only imagine the function of this touching work of art, and will never know the thoughts held deep within the artist who created this dynamic piece. However, its boldness of expression and effecting spirit remains with us today, capturing our hearts and our imaginations. - (FJ.5032)


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