- Museum number
Cylinder-shaped object made in tumbaga by lost-wax casting with core. One end of the cylider is smaller than the other; the small one is open and the large one is closed. It has a human head towards the small end, with the eyes closed and wearing a helmet and series of ear-rings. Plugged holes for core-supports appear in the neck and the small end. The function is unknown; it has been interpreted as finger-grip, spear-thrower and musical instrument.
- Production date
Height: 12.10 centimetres
Width: 2 centimetres
Depth: 4.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
From exhibition label "finger-grip from spear-thrower?".
Vila llonch 2013
Warriors in ancient Colombia used a wide range of weapons, including spearthrowers. They set a dart or spear into the handle, which gave them greater reach and helped them to throw the dart with greater force. Many highly decorated handles, such as these, were cast in gold alloy by skilled goldsmiths. The imagery and material show they were highly valued items, perhaps used as scepters to display status as well as in battle.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1978-1979, London, BM, The Gold of El Dorado
1996, London, Museum of Mankind (Room 1), 'Gilded Image'
2013 Oct 17 - 2014 Mar 23. BM, ‘Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia’
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number