Pre-Columbian, Peru, Sican, ca. 800 to 1000 CE. A gold crown made from hammered 14K gold sheet presenting a rich iconographic program featuring six running jaguars and surrounding Naymlap the Emperor depicted as an elderly man - crouched forward and holding a walking cane. Naymlap (also Naylamp, Nanlap, or Nylamp), the traditional founder of the Lambayeque dynasty, came from the south by sea and colonized the region before he allegedly sprouted wings and flew off into the sunset in a dramatic display of his magical powers. Naymlap was worshipped by his descendants, and silver and gold vessels, weapons, precious tools, and jewelry like this example are adorned with his likeness. Size: 11.75" W x 1" H (29.8 cm x 2.5 cm); 5.5" H (14 cm) on included custom stand. Unable to weigh, since it is mounted to its stand.
The jaguar symbolized power and might throughout the Pre-Columbian world. Warriors, rulers, hunters, and shamans alike associated themselves with this king of beasts, the largest and most powerful feline in the New World. Not only does this crown demonstrate Naymlap's associations with the jaguar, but also, by extension, the wearer was linked to the mighty jaguar.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex Laurence Witten Collection, Florida, USA ; ex Parke Barnett, forerunner of Sotheby’s
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