Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche, Loma Negra, ca. 390 to 450 CE. An amusing copper finial which once adorned the end of a spear-throwing weapon known as an atlatl. The finial is comprised of a slender attachment bar upon which stands a jaguar with a sinuous tail, arching body, bent legs, perky ears, and a triangular head. The feline's minimalist visage boasts a pair of carved eyes, a bar-shaped nose, and a petite mouth. Attached to the handle of an atlatl, this would have enabled a warrior to hurl spears at a higher velocity and with greater precision than was possible simply through a throwing motion. Covered in layers of light-green and dark-green patina, this is a fabulous example from the ancient Moche! Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 2.75" L x 2.3" H (7 cm x 5.8 cm); 3" H (7.6 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private H. J. Westermann collection, Germany
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Repair to area where front paw meets horizontal base. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age and use, slight bending to overall form, fading to carved facial features, and small chips to tail, feet, ears, and attachment bar. Light earthen deposits and great green patina throughout.