29b: A Lambayeque / Sican Gilded Gold Mask
Pre-Columbian, Sican - Chimu Culture, North Coast Peru, ca 800-1000 CE. Gold mask having almond-shaped eyes, nose in high relief, mouth in rectangular incised pattern. Originally attached to a textile backing, now mounted in museum-quality plexi glass cover. Mask itself measures 9"H x 16"W.
Interesting note about Pre-Columbian Gold... Alloy containing gold, silver, copper, etc was melted and then the copper etc etched away with a urine or plant acid so only the gold remained, which was then burnished. This technique was invented by the Pre-Columbian people, as they could not refine gold too well / separate one metal from the next.....only when they found gold nuggets in rivers was the gold 90% pure."
Provenance: Ex-Lempertz Collection, Germany.