Pre-Columbian, South America, Colombia, Tairona, ca. 1000 CE. A breathtaking shell ornament created by the Tairona peoples, an ancient and now extinct culture of Colombia, depicting a bird in a characteristically abstract manner with skillfully carved and incised details. Contributing greatly to its beauty is the iridescent quality inherent to the shell itself, imbuing it with silvery, green, and lavender hues. In the Pre-Columbian world, birds were regarded as sky animals associated with the celestial realm where they served as special messengers between humankind and their deities. A beautiful piece with an openwork eye that could be used for suspension. Size: 4.75" W x 3.75" H (12.1 cm x 9.5 cm); 4.75" H (12.1 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex Leonard Kaplan collection, Los Angeles, California, USA
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