Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche I or II, ca. 100 to 300 CE. An extremely rare and oh so fine ceremonial copper tumi adorned with the head of a lord or perhaps belonging to the chief Mochica deity Ai Apec, famous for taking on many identities as a result of his dramatic transformations. The visage projects a serious countenance with stone and shell inlaid eyes staring straight ahead, a naturalistically modeled, straight, noble-looking nose, and a closed mouth with pursed lips that do not dare to suggest even the slightest hint of a light-hearted smile. Interestingly this representation of Ai Apec decorating the large copper tumi actually dons a tumi-topped headdress adorning the head covering of an incised, checkered design atop his longcoiffure which cascades past his shoulders, along with large round earflares that are beautifully incised with a repeated spiral or sun motif. Given the superb artistry and workmanship, not to mention the richly symbolic iconography of this piece, it was probably used for ritualistic sacrificial rites. A very rare ceremonial knife from the ancient Mochica culture. Custom, museum-quality stand. Size: 3.75" W x 6.25" H (9.5 cm x 15.9 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Private LA County collection
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