Bell Pendant with Animal Motifs

Bell Pendant with Animal Motifs

AD 800-1522
Culture
Greater Chiriqui
Country
Costa Rica
Style/Tradition
Diquís
pendant
This pendant was fashioned using a combination of casting, false filigree, and hammering.
Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer
1996.109
. Bell Pendant with Animal Motifs. AD 800-1522. This pendant was fashioned using a combination of casting, false filigree, and hammering.. Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer. 1996.109.
This object is currently on view
Dimensions
height: 2 3/4 in, 6.9850 cm; width: 2 7/8 in, 7.3025 cm; depth: 3/4 in, 1.9050 cm
Department
Mayer Center, Art of the Ancient Americas
Collection
Art of the Ancient Americas

Bell Pendant with Animal Motifs
About A.D. 500–1550
Costa Rica, Diquís region
Gold alloy
Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer; 1996.109

At the center of this large gold pendant is a composite deer-bird creature whose rounded belly is a bell. The legs are replaced by four smaller deer heads, and at the base is a flared bird tail. Encircling the deer-bird is a braided arch, and an outer frame composed of seven four-legged creatures with curly tails and birdlike heads.

The pendant was made using the lost-wax casting process, which involves making a wax model of the desired object, then encasing it in clay to form a mold. Heating the mold melts the wax, and molten metal is then poured into the mold. After cooling, the clay mold is broken away. Objects produced in this manner are thus unique.

Known Provenance
Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.