Disk-Shaped Chest Plaque

Disk-Shaped Chest Plaque

c. 700-1550

Hammered gold

Overall: 19.8 x 19.6 x 2.5 cm (7 13/16 x 7 11/16 x 1 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Newton D. Baker in memory of her husband, Newton D. Baker 1950.386

Description

Technologically, this pectoral (chest plaque) is unlike the other gold shown in this case. Rather than being cast of molten metal, it was made by hammering metal into a thin sheet. Costa Rican and Panamanian metalsmiths favored casting, but they were skilled in hammering, a technology better suited to creating large objects with glittering, reflective surfaces. The import of the breast-like protrusions is unknown.

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