Pre-Columbian, Colombia, Tairona culture, ca. 800 to 1200 CE. A stunning necklace with a translucent quartz carved frog pendant at its center. The frog is naturalistic and carved with detail showing its eyes and crouched legs in great detail. To either side of the frog are three large, cylindrical beads made of smoky-colored chalcedony which flare on the ends. Accented to either side of some of these beads are small silver ball beads (five in total) and nine other small, round beads of shell and stone. Wearable! Each silver bead approximately 0.15" W (0.4 cm); largest chalcedony bead: 0.45" W x 4" H (1.1 cm x 10.2 cm); size of frog: 1.7" L x 1" W x 0.65" H (4.3 cm x 2.5 cm x 1.7 cm)
Toads and frogs are common iconography in the pre-Columbian New World, where their tadpole-to-land-animal life cycle resulted in them becoming symbols of rebirth. Some toads were also known for their hallucinogenic secretions and toad remains are commonly found in tombs.
Provenance: private New York, USA collection; ex Walter Crawford collection, Arizona, USA, collected from 1960 to 1970
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