Pre-Columbian Moche gold gilded mask

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Funerary maskette, Moche tradition, Northern Peru, Late early intermediate period, circa 300 CE. An important and early Moche gold gilded copper example which comes from the far north coast of Peru, in the Vicus region. This maskette originally had inlaid eyes and was likely painted in red (can be seen inside the proper right ear) and, possibly blue. The teeth are made of shell inlay and are well defined and finely preserved. The brimmed headdress of this divine, human countenance has danglers which recall the form of rain or teardrops, and these would have once shimmered with a bright layer of silver or gilt each time the piece was moved. Separately made ears have been attached with carefully made metal staples. No effort was too great for the funerary goods made for the Moche nobility. XRF tested. 

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