Molded in repousse from hammered sheets of silver, this pendant features a human-avian head. The bird-man motif is seen throughout ancient Peru; common attributes include large ovoid eyes, a beak-like nose, and protruding headdress which mimics an avian crest, as can be seen in this example. A small elongated suspension loop at the top of the headdress indicates this piece was strung for wearing.
In ancient Peru, gold, silver, weavings, and seashells such as Spondylus were viewed with equal importance. Leaders were adorned with a vast variety of jewelry and decorative elements made from gold, silver, copper and a mix of alloys. During the height of the Chimú Empire, from the 12th to the 15th century, metalworking reached its greatest level of technological sophistication.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall for an object of this date and type, without any significant damage, dents or cracks.
Dimensions: Height: 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm)
Provenance: ex Lorenzo Gordon Fritz Collection, La Paz, Bolivia, thereafter private Canadian collection, acquired in 2008.