Gold Pendant of a Crab - FJ.6155, Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area, Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD, Dimensions: 3" (7.6cm) wide, Catalogue: V21, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Pre-Columbian, Medium: Gold. Though each of the major regions of Costa Rica manufactured gold objects, the area of Diquis in the southern portion near Panama, produced the most distinctive and abundant works of art in gold. In the conquistador's journals mention is made of the fact that each community in Diquis owned a stretch of river where inhabitants panned for gold and retained their own expert craftsmen. The Spaniards were even more surprised to learn that in the villager of Coctu, the chief himself was a goldsmith specializing in animal figures and breastplates. Of all artistic trends and styles the gold of Costa Rica represents some of the most fascinating and unique objects ever created. This delightful pendant is so lovely and delicate it is almost poignant. Through the most precious of materials this crab comes alive with movement and character. He holds pellets in his claws which he is about to eat. The body, though very realistic, is done in an abstract fashion, seen particularly in the swirling bands circling the shell. This shows remarkable finesse and freedom of imagination, combined with the extraordinary skills of a master goldsmith. The rich gold of this beautiful pendant glistens and sparkles, as if the crab is crawling along a shallow pool, catching the sun's rays in brilliant gleams of light and color.
Ancient Central America & Mexico