Rare Pre-Columbian Tumbaga Gold Frog Pendant
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Directory: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Latin American: Pre 1492: Item # 1114513
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$700 SALE. Was $850.
(Free U.S. Priority Shipping
& Gift-Wrap, if Desired)
This unusually large and ornate frog effigy, if not reconditioned as a pendant, would be a museum-piece. It was found circa 1950, with normal and natural wear, then cleaned and polished, fitted with a bale and probably gold-dipped to restore its original appearance.
Looking at the result, I find it hard to regret the changes, even though a lot of value was lost. Now we're free to enjoy it as a jewel, not just admire it in a public display case.
Tumbaga gold, if the term is unfamiliar, refers to a copper and gold alloy used in pre-Columbian Central America. Pieces cast of this material were treated with plant acids to leach out the copper and the remaining gold surface was then burnished. Sometimes they were also gilded with higher quality gold.
In the culture where it originated, the frog was the traditional symbol for power and fruitfulness. Similar pieces -- smaller and less intricate but left in as-found condition -- are selling online for $1500 to $2000.
There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping (with an equivalent discount for our international customers) and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!