The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of May 25, 2024

Pectoral (Chest Plaque)

Pectoral (Chest Plaque)

400–900

Did You Know?

Panning for gold was viewed as a sacred activity among the ancient inhabitants of Costa Rica and Panama.

Description

Harvard archaeologists excavated this and seven other ornaments from several burials at Sitio Conte, a cemetery famous for its lavish graves of powerful chieftains. The young man buried in Grave 26 was such a chief. His status was stunningly memorialized by 21 human companions and 475 objects, many of them personal ornaments made of gold, including a large chest plaque and a rod-shaped ear ornament. The creature on the chest plaque, found close to the chief’s body, has reptile claws and perhaps the head crest of an iguana. Its meaning is unknown but perhaps, as in later periods, reptilian imagery and the warm gleam of gold linked rulers with the sun’s creative force.
  • 1930s-1952
    Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., to John Wise Ltd. Galleries, New York, NY
    1952
    (John Wise Ltd. Galleries, New York, NY, 1952, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
    1952-present
    The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cocle, Vol. 7. fig. 247, no. 16
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Handbook. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 381 archive.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1966. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1966. Reproduced: p. 294 archive.org
    Cleveland Museum of Art. Selected Works: Cleveland Museum of Art. 1967. No. 237
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1969. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1969. Reproduced: p. 294 archive.org
    GENTILLE, Thomas. [Step by Step Jewelry.] Jewellery. A Complete Introduction to the Craft of Jewellery. London: Evans Bros, 1973. p. 35
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 398 archive.org
    Hearne, Pamela, and Robert J. Sharer. River of Gold--Precolumbian Treasures from Sitio Conte. Philadelphia: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, 1992. p. 22-31
    Townsend, Richard F., and Anthony F. Aveni. The Ancient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscapes. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1992. p. 220
    May, Sally Ruth, Jane Takac, and Barbara J. Bradley. Knockouts: A Pocket Guide. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2001. no. 109, p. 98, 220
    Jones, Julie. Art of Pre-Columbian Gold: The Jan Mitchell Collection. [Place of publication not identified]: Metropolitan Mus Of Art, 2012.
    Cleveland Museum of Art. The CMA Companion: A Guide to the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2014. Mentioned and reproduced: P. 336-337
  • Chicago, Illinois: The Art Institute of Chicago; October 10, 1992-January 3, 1993. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; June 6- August 15, 1993. "The Ancient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscape." Fig. 5, repr. p. 220, cat, no. 53.
    Treasures of Peruvian Gold. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (February 23-April 3, 1966).
    Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art; February 23-April 3, 1966. "Treasures of Peruvian Gold."
    Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art; November 9, 1945- January 6, 1946. "Art of the Americas."
  • {{cite web|title=Pectoral (Chest Plaque)|url=false|author=|year=400–900|access-date=25 May 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1952.459