Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Double-Eagle Pendant

Date:
1st–5th century
Geography:
Panama
Culture:
Initial Style
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
H. 4 3/8 x W. 6 1/4 x D. 1 1/8 in. (11.1 x 15.9 x 2.8cm)
Classification:
Metal-Ornaments
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979
Accession Number:
1979.206.538
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 357
The bird-form pendants of Central America are perhaps the best known type of Precolumbian gold object. Made to be worn suspended around the neck, they were fabricated in many sizes, from those that are less than an inch in height to others of more than five inches. While the pendants differ in specific details, the basic configuration is usually the same. They have extended wings over open, splayed tails and heads and beaks that project strongly forward. Single birds are the most common, although double images, like this one, also occur. These pendants are considered to be stylized representations of birds of prey often holding small objects in their prominent beaks. The pendants may have functioned as protective emblems.
[John Wise Ltd., New York, until 1957]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1957, on loan to the Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1957–1978

Newton, Douglas, Julie Jones, and Kate Ezra. The Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Americas/The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987, no.100, p. 135.

Jones, Julie, and Heidi King. "Gold of the Americas." The Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art vol. 59, no. 4 (Spring 2002), p. 38.

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