Although their supposed Huarmey provenience indicates they are Chimu, these especially large, hammered gold bangles are something of an enigma from the standpoint both of stylistic affinity and use.
Each of this pair of objects is a two-member composite consisting of a circular, hollow ring of rectangular cross section and a flat, roughly square plate with central hole that slips onto the ring. The rings rattle; x-radiography reveal two spheres of a dense material, probably metal, inside each one. Each ring is constructed from three pieces of sheet gold: the ring proper and two caps that close the opposing ends. The body of the ring is a single sheet of gold, hammered to a deep U-shape and bent into a circle. The second member of these composite objects, the flat plate, is finished as carefully as the ring with a firm burnishing. The fit between plate and ring is fairly loose, and the plate slides readily along the ring.
Bennett, Wendell C. 1955 32 Masterworks of Andean Art from the Exhibition Ancient Arts of the Andes. Museum of Modern Art, New York. fig. 28.
Benson, Elizabeth P. 1963 Handbook of the Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art. Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C., p. 67, cat. 374.
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. 317, pl. CXXXI.
Bliss, Robert Woods 1959 Pre-Columbian Art: The Robert Woods Bliss Collection. 2nd ed. Text and Critical Analyses by S. K. Lothrop, Joy Mahler and William F. Foshag. Phaidon, London. p. 284, cat. 317, pl. CXXXI.
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. 237-9, pl. 58.
Herring, Adam 2015 Art and Vision in the Inca Empire: Andeans and Europeans at Cajamarca. Cambridge University Press, New York. p. 149, fig. 64.
Lothrop, Samuel K. 1954 A Peruvian Goldsmith's Grave. Archaeology Spring 1954:31-36. p. 31-36.
"Indigenous Art of the Americas", National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, November 1952 to January 1954, April 1954 to July 1962.
"Ancient Art of the Andes", Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1/26 - 3/21/1954; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN, 4/21 - 6/13/1954; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA, 7/23 - 9/19/1954.
Purchased from Walram von Schoeler, New York (dealer), by Robert Woods Bliss, ca.1953.
Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, Washington, DC, 1953-1962.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Pre-Columbian Collection, Washington, DC.