Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Nose Ornament

Date:
13th–16th century
Geography:
Colombia
Culture:
Sonso
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
H. 3 1/2 x W. 8 3/8 in. (8.9 x 21.3 cm)
Classification:
Metal-Ornaments
Credit Line:
Jan Mitchell and Sons Collection, Gift of Jan Mitchell, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.419.33
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 357
In Precolumbian times this nose ornament was probably viewed as an abbreviated version of an animal mask, most likely feline. The graceful outward projections bring to mind feline whiskers. The long central section would have obscured the mouth of the wearer, hiding this "human" feature. An indigenous repair--a staplelike strap--occurs on one of the lower projections.
(Lempertz Auction Gallery, Cologne, Germany, December 14–15, 1966, no. 1807); Jan Mitchell, New York, acquired by 1969, until 1991

Jones, Julie. The Art of Precolumbian Gold: The Jan Mitchell Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985, no. 48, pp. 178-179.

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