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Superb 10th C. Sican Gold Mask for a Lord

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Superb 10th C. Sican Gold Mask for a Lord

Lot 0191C Details

Description
Pre-Columbian, North Coast of Peru, Sican / Lambayeque, ca. 10th to 11th century CE. A fabulous 57% to 60% (equivalent 13K+ to 14K+) gold ceremonial mask. The face presents almond-shaped eyes, characteristically upturned at the corners with bulging pupils from which protruding gold wires suspend circular dangers; a projecting nose from which a pair of copper wires suspend oblong danglers, and a delineated mouth flanked by jowl lines. His coiffure is decorated with 6 trapezoidal danglers - 3 on each side - and large circular ear ornaments, beaded on the peripheries in repousse and decorated with a central circular dangler further embellish the mask. Interestingly, the eye danglers have been interpreted as tears or a magical, enhanced ability to see by scholars. This luxurious ensemble was made to adorn the face of a deceased elite member of society; gold was for lords or kings, silver for noble women, and copper for wealthy commoners. The face most likely was not intended to represent an individual, but rather a stylized deity, as all of the known masks from the region follow a very similar formula. In this way, the deceased could readily assume a godly identity. Sican elites were patrons of workshops that made fine metal objects like this mask and accompanying appliques, and they took their wealth with them when they passed away. Buried in mounds, these individuals would be entombed in high style. Overall, a rare and fabulous example! Size: 9.25" L x 5.75" W (23.5 cm x 14.6 cm); 9.5" H (24.1 cm) on included custom stand; quality of gold: 57% to 60% (equivalent to 13K+ to 14K+); quality of silver: 33%

This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world’s largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Arundel Collection, "Old Curiosity Cabinet," Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, California, USA, collected 1950-1970

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.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#163793
Condition
Tiny pierced holes surround the visage for attachment. Normal areas of surface wear and patina. Mask shows slight bending and creases. Minor losses and tears to areas of peripheries. Overall great condition. Mask is mounted on a custom stand and cannot be accurately weighed.
Buyer's Premium
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Superb 10th C. Sican Gold Mask for a Lord

Estimate $20,000 - $30,000
Jun 10
Starting Price $11,000
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Artemis Gallery

Artemis Gallery

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0191C: Superb 10th C. Sican Gold Mask for a Lord

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $20,000 - $30,000Starting Price $11,000
Exceptional Antiquities, Asian, Ethnographic
Thu, Jun 10, 2021 10:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 24.5%

Lot 0191C Details

Description
...
Pre-Columbian, North Coast of Peru, Sican / Lambayeque, ca. 10th to 11th century CE. A fabulous 57% to 60% (equivalent 13K+ to 14K+) gold ceremonial mask. The face presents almond-shaped eyes, characteristically upturned at the corners with bulging pupils from which protruding gold wires suspend circular dangers; a projecting nose from which a pair of copper wires suspend oblong danglers, and a delineated mouth flanked by jowl lines. His coiffure is decorated with 6 trapezoidal danglers - 3 on each side - and large circular ear ornaments, beaded on the peripheries in repousse and decorated with a central circular dangler further embellish the mask. Interestingly, the eye danglers have been interpreted as tears or a magical, enhanced ability to see by scholars. This luxurious ensemble was made to adorn the face of a deceased elite member of society; gold was for lords or kings, silver for noble women, and copper for wealthy commoners. The face most likely was not intended to represent an individual, but rather a stylized deity, as all of the known masks from the region follow a very similar formula. In this way, the deceased could readily assume a godly identity. Sican elites were patrons of workshops that made fine metal objects like this mask and accompanying appliques, and they took their wealth with them when they passed away. Buried in mounds, these individuals would be entombed in high style. Overall, a rare and fabulous example! Size: 9.25" L x 5.75" W (23.5 cm x 14.6 cm); 9.5" H (24.1 cm) on included custom stand; quality of gold: 57% to 60% (equivalent to 13K+ to 14K+); quality of silver: 33%

This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world’s largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Arundel Collection, "Old Curiosity Cabinet," Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, California, USA, collected 1950-1970

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.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#163793
Condition
...
Tiny pierced holes surround the visage for attachment. Normal areas of surface wear and patina. Mask shows slight bending and creases. Minor losses and tears to areas of peripheries. Overall great condition. Mask is mounted on a custom stand and cannot be accurately weighed.

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