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Ancient Chimu Gold Beads and Shell Necklace

Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Chimu, ca. 1000 to 1425 CE. A stunning and substantive, one-of-a-kind necklace comprised of an ensemble of ancient treasures from the Chimu peoples of Peru. Five, symmetrically spaced, hammered gold cylindrical beads, each depicting an expressive human face with finely delineated features, wearing an elaborate headdress decorated with geometric motifs and large circular ear ornaments, grace this impressive necklace. In addition 4 large gold spherical beads, 59 smaller gold spherical beads, 15 purple translucent amethyst spherical beads, 14 small and 2 larger white, translucent quartz spherical beads, and a grand teardrop-shaped Spondylus shell pendant suspended from a petite pale green stone circular bead. All of the beads on this piece are ancient, even the stone beads (confirmed to be ancient upon close examination of their drill patterns). Modern clasp. A magnificent piece of wearable art from this ancient Andean culture. Size: 27.75" L (70.5 cm); shell pendant measures 3.75" L x 2.75" H (9.5 x 7 cm); gold cylindrical figurative beads measure 1.25" L x .5" in diameter (3.2 x 1.3 cm)

In addition to gold and semiprecious stones like amethyst, Spondylus shells have been revered by the indigenous of the Andes since the Pre-Columbian era. In addition to being featured in their artwork and used as currency, Spondylus pieces served as sacred offerings to Pachamama, the earth/time mother, a version of Mother Nature.

Condition: Gold cylindrical beads show minor dents and a few have tiny holes. Other beads excellent. Shell pendant repaired from 2 pieces but all there and with nice mineral deposits.

Provenance: Ex-private Scollard collection, acquired before 1990

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