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Pectoral Ornament

Pectoral Ornament

c. 1200-1519

Mexico, Guerrero, Ichcatiopan,, Mixtec or Aztec style

Gold, jadeite

Overall: 8 x 7.2 cm (3 1/8 x 2 13/16 in.)

Gift of James C. Gruener in memory of his wife, Florence Crowell Gruener 1983.190

Fun Fact

Known for their exquisite craftsmanship, this piece is a rare example of Mixtec gold work, much of which was destroyed during the Spanish conquest.

Description

This unusual pendant comprises a polished jade plaque carved in the shape of the cross section of a conch shell and a delicate gold frame with tiny dangling bells. The cut conch was a jewel worn by Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent), an Aztec culture hero and supernatural creature closely associated with the wind that brings rain clouds and new life. The pendant may have been found with a set of obsidian ear ornaments (1990.191).

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