Muisca Gold Mother and Child Tunjo

15225. Muisca Gold Mother and Child Tunjo

Colombia, Ca. 1100 to 1300 AD.

A fine abstract lost wax cast of a flattened figural form with characteristic wire like limbs against the flat body silhouette; she has an elaborate openwork crown, fine facial features, ear ornaments and she is holding a scepter and child.

size: 4-1/4 inches H + custom base. 27.6 grams

Provenance: Mead Family Collection, ex Giels and Emily Mead, now decedents and by descent to current family member, Boulder CO; acquired between 1955-1990

The tunjo is a classic example of the minimal and elegant style of Muisca gold work. Pre-Colombian people were concerned with social status, and the function of adornments was to indicate wealth and position in society. Rulers wore gold crowns and were buried in gold masks. Priests used gold utensils and dressed in clothing laced with gold. The elite class adorned themselves in gold and silver ornamentation that could be seen at a distance, displaying their status through opulence, asserting their divine authority to make the transformation to the next world when their time came.

$5,400


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