Emerald necklace with Chiriquí Tumbaga Frog Pendant, Costa Rica, ca. 800 - 1500 CE
Emerald necklace with Chiriquí Tumbaga Frog Pendant, Costa Rica, ca. 800 - 1500 CE
Emerald necklace with Chiriquí Tumbaga Frog Pendant, Costa Rica, ca. 800 - 1500 CE
Emerald necklace with Chiriquí Tumbaga Frog Pendant, Costa Rica, ca. 800 - 1500 CE
Emerald necklace with Chiriquí Tumbaga Frog Pendant, Costa Rica, ca. 800 - 1500 CE

Emerald necklace with Chiriquí Tumbaga Frog Pendant, Costa Rica, ca. 800 - 1500 CE

PJ2004

Regular price$1,950 USD
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Frogs are frequently depicted in the goldwork of Costa Rica and Panama. In this tropical region, numerous species abound, from tiny terrestrial varieties to giant tree frogs, some with poisonous skins and some vibrantly colored. A tree frog may be depicted here, with its beaded eyes, wide smile, long thin legs, and wide round feet projecting from its body. Emerging from the mouth is a scrolled tongue, a pervasive serpent symbol, that is flanked by outstretched arms on either side. A large pair of spiral ear spools add a decorative touch to either side of the mouth. The pendant has been paired with handmade faceted emeralds graduating from 3.5-4mm and twelve 14K gold spacer beads complete this stunning ensemble.

Costa Rica is the most northerly of the Pre-Columbian gold working areas, which run from southern Peru and Bolivia on the west side of South America, along the Andean Mountain chain to Ecuador and Colombia, and from there across onto the Isthmus of Panama. This generally continuous region, in which ancient American gold working technologies developed, intermingled, and expanded, ends approximately in southern Costa Rica. Costa Rican metalwork is thus consistent with southern technologies and imagery, although it has its own distinct, and quite strong, visual character. The major mountain ranges account for the creation of three cultural zones in ancient Costa Rica, where diverse ethnic groups developed distinct artistic traditions. Chiriquí, the southwestern zone of Pacific Costa Rica, near the Panamanian border, was the most important region for gold working. It has yielded more gold objects than any other Costa Rican area. Early European accounts report that the tropical rainforest region of the Diquis Delta, where rivers come from the Cordillera de Talamanca, was particularly rich in gold. Each community owned a stretch of river where people panned for gold.

Dimensions:  Pendant Length: 17 mm (0.66 inches), Overall necklace length: 19 1/2 inches (49.5 cm)

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance: Private New Jersey collection, acquired in the 1980s.

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