Upper-class women in colonial Latin America wore elaborate tiaras and hair ornaments encrusted with jewels, such as this one that contains pearls and emeralds. Elements of this tiara, including a "C-scroll" motif in the goldwork point to an 18th century date however overall construction technique perhaps points to a later date of manufacture.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, native peoples of Latin America mined jade, emeralds, and other gemstones, often fashioning them into beads. Around 1600, the Spanish began mining in Muzo, Colombia, extracting extremely high-quality emeralds that came to be coveted around the world. Pearls and coral were so readily available in Mexico and South America that women of all classes wore multistrand pearl and coral bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.
-- Donna Pierce & Julie Wilson Frick, 2015
- “ReVision: Art in the Americas” — Denver Art Museum, 2/16/2020 – 11/8/2020