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Chimu (?), Late Intermediate Period
1100-1470 CE
5.7 cm (2 1/4 in.)

Not on view


This long, rectangular band of thin sheet gold is 0.010 cm thick. It is composed of two pieces of unequal length, joined with a modern gold-copper alloy solder. The two short edges overlap slightly and irregularly at the seam, perhaps at the location of a long fracture in the metal. Four holes of irregular shape have been poked through the sheet, one at each corner; the raised burrs remain.

The function of this plain band of gold is not known. More elaborately decorated bands, embellished with danglers and figures worked in relief or with gold plume attached have been considered to be ceremonial belts and headbands; by the style of their elaborations, they are generally attributed to the Chimu.

Bliss, Robert Woods 1957 Pre-Columbian Art: The Robert Woods Bliss Collection. Text and Critical Analyses by S. K. Lothrop, Joy Mahler and William F. Foshag. Phaidon, New York. p. 276, cat. 323, pl. CXXXII.

Boone, Elizabeth Hill (ED.) 1996 Andean Art at Dumbarton Oaks. Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks; No. 1. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. vol. 1, p. 292, pl. 83.

Exhibition History
"Indigenous Art of the Americas", National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, April 1947 to July 1962.

Acquisition History
Purchased from Earl Stendahl, Los Angeles (dealer), by Robert Woods Bliss, 1946.

Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, Washington, DC, 1946-1962.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Pre-Columbian Collection, Washington, DC.