Gold Pendant of a Jaguar with a Head on its Tail - FJ.6049, Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area, Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD, Dimensions: 3.25" (8.3cm) depth, Catalogue: V21, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Pre-Columbian, Medium: Gold. The jaguar has had great mythological significance in Pre-Columbian art from the earliest Olmec civilization. The great cat, both beautiful and fierce, has been the subject of devotion and admiration for centuries. The gold masterpiece which silently shimmers in all its glory and mystery before us is undoubtedly an exceptional work of art. It combines the powerful forces of artistic ingenuity with supernatural and mythical imagery. Under the influence of hallucionatory drugs, the shaman could turn at will into a jaguar, and in this supernatural disguise he had great powers. The tail of the jaguar terminates into an energetic jaguar head with applied circular eyes and snarling mouth with an applied nose and ears. Both front and rear legs of the jaguar are similar in form and create a feeling of swift movement. The back portion of the jaguar from the tail to ears is adormed with a fanciful and delicate filigree of beautiful symmetrical coils of gold. Ornate braided gold filigree encircles the applied circular eyes on the large jaguar's head and fierce fangs curl around the upper and lower lips. The nose and ears are prominent and alert! The two loops on its front paws lead us to believe that it was worn as a pendant. The entire composition is full of unexpected surprises and dynamic power. Such an extraordinary pendant was cetainly worn by a person of high rank and authority in society.