Oct 24, 2011
Oct 24, 2011

Double Bird-Headed Figure Pendant

Double Bird-Headed Figure Pendant

c. 1000-1500

Cast and hammered gold

Overall: 7.2 x 9.4 cm (2 13/16 x 3 11/16 in.)

Thirty-fifth anniversary gift in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Humphreys, Gift of their daughter, Helen 1951.442


Among the pendants shown here are a crustacean (1943.290), an animal-headed figure (1948.18), and two pendants featuring birds (1951.442 and 1946.223). The latter were dubbed aguilas (eagles) by Christopher Columbus, who saw natives wearing them as necklace ornaments. Modern researchers are not as sure of the species shown, but some believe that they are birds of prey because talons and beaks are prominent and often clutch something, in one example here a small, disembodied head that holds a clapper. In both examples, two tufts in the form of crocodiles in profile flank the birds’ heads.


The Lost-Wax Casting Process
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