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Paracas 10K Gold Jaguar Mask - Headdress Ornament

Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, Paracas, ca. 500 to 100 BCE. A fabulous jaguar god mask - hammered from a single 10 karat gold sheet and skillfully detailed with the wild feline deity's eyes, nose, toothy grimace, and raised ears delineated in repousse - perforated at the sides for attachment to a headdress. Jaguar imagery symbolized power and might throughout the Pre-Columbian world; hence, warriors, rulers, hunters, and shamans alike associated themselves with this king of beasts, the largest and most powerful feline in the New World. Just imagine this glistening gold jaguar staring down at a warrior's opponent or a ruler's subjects - the wearer channeling the wild feline's strength and ferocity! Size: 3.875" W x 6.375" H (9.8 cm x 16.2 cm); 8.25" H (21 cm) on included custom stand. Not weighed since mask is attached to the stand.

Ancient Andean cultures perfected sophisticated metallurgical techniques in order to create gold and silver ornaments which were intended for either the living or the deceased. Metalsmiths heated soft nuggets of gold and then rolled them into thin sheets. Once these sheets were formed, they could be cut and embossed with designs and figures, replete with layers of symbolism.

Condition: Expected surface wear with some scratches, dents, and minor creases commensurate with age. Overall excellent.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private H. J. Westermann collection, Germany

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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