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SKU: PJ2117

A rare set of Chimu Silver Roundel Medallions, Early Intermediate/Middle Horizon, ca. 500 CE

Sale price17,500 USD

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Silver, associated with the nighttime world of the moon and stars, was also linked with the world of the dead. In the Andean region, the world of the dead was identified with both the ocean and the dark depths of the humid earth. In other words, life began and ended in water. These complex symbolic associations made silver the perfect material for the manufacture of personal adornments with a readily apparent ceremonial and funerary function. Objects made from gold, silver, and copper signified power, as their color, luster, and sound were considered divine. In societies like Chimú, silver was used in the attire of the nobility.

Objects such as this extraordinary necklace accompanied members of the Chimu aristocracy to their graves and served as an emblem of their status. It comprises a set of fifteen matching silver roundel medallions, depicting a crouching deer deity, wearing a large crescent headdress, each enhanced further by the fine openwork design. Deer were associated with deities, sacrifice, rituals of the hunt, and particularly regeneration of the sun.

Condition: One has a minor edge dent, otherwise all are intact and in excellent condition overall. Double perforations on both sides for stringing.  Restrung and presented on custom mount constructed to museum standards. Rare to find this number of matching examples in such excellent condition.

Dimensions: Medallion diameter: 1 1/2 inches (3.5 cm)

Provenance: Andre Emmerich Gallery, NYC; Edward Merrin Gallery, Inc., NYC, acquired in the 1970s, thereafter private NYC collection.

André Emmerich (1924 – 2007) was a German-born American gallerist who specialized in the color field school and pre-Columbian art while also taking on artists such as David Hockney and John D. Graham. After graduating from Oberlin College and working as a writer, he opened his gallery in 1954, specializing in leading artists working in a wide variety of styles including Abstract Expressionism, Op Art, Color field painting, Hard-edge painting, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimal Art, Pop Art and Realism, among other movements. He also specialized in and organized important exhibitions of pre-Columbian art, writing two acclaimed books, "Art Before Columbus" (1963) and "Sweat of the Sun and Tears of the Moon: Gold and Silver in Pre-Columbian Art" (1965).
A rare set of Chimu Silver Roundel Medallions, Early Intermediate/Middle Horizon, ca. 500 CE
A rare set of Chimu Silver Roundel Medallions, Early Intermediate/Middle Horizon, ca. 500 CE Sale price17,500 USD