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Moche Gilded Copper Headdress Ornament - Owl Face

Pre-Columbian, Peru (North Coast), Moche Culture, ca. 100 to 800 CE. A hammered, gilded copper headdress ornament of elaborate form, forming a rare portrait of a Moche lord/shaman. It features a human face with eyes made from shell and lapis/sodalite, portrayed with a large band-like headdress from whose center projects a large owl head (not unlike how this item would have projected from a real headband). Crook-shaped ornaments made from twisted, flat bronze wire are at the ears. The face is broad and expressionless, and the placement of the owl suggests either a mask or a shamanic incarnation of the animal - perhaps the face is a shaman who is in a trance stance as an owl. To the Moche, the owl sacrificed war captives, creating trophy heads. Size: 2.95" W x 4.75" H (7.5 cm x 12.1 cm); 6" H (15.2 cm) on included custom stand.

Condition: One of the ear ornaments is missing. Small losses at edges. Nice preservation of gilding, with bright green patina on exposed copper.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection

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