Sep 1, 2011
Sep 1, 2011

Figurine Plaque

Figurine Plaque

c. 300 BC-AD 200

Hammered and embossed gold-copper alloy

Overall: 6.8 x 4.2 cm (2 11/16 x 1 5/8 in.)

The Norweb Collection 1940.512


Did you know?

Tumbaga is an alloy made by blending gold with copper, which may give the gold a rosy hue.


This small metal ornament represents a human figure wearing a cap, a tunic decorated with bird images, and a necklace of orange-pink spondylus shell sections. Such necklaces are found in Paracas mummy bundles, and are frequently represented in Paracas embroidered images. Spondylus shell does not grow in the cold water off the coast of Peru, and had to be imported hundreds of miles from what is now Ecuador. Virtually all ancient Peruvian cultures treasured spondylus shell for its color and rarity, and as a symbol of fertility.

See also
AA - Andes
Art of the Americas
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
The Norweb Collection

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.