- Museum number
Gold worker's mould (for figures) made of stone.
- Production date
Height: 11.50 centimetres
Width: 6 centimetres
Depth: 3 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Comment by a member of the Muisca group from Bosa -William Garibello- February 2021. These black stones had multiple uses in the past. Some were used to produce gold figures, others were used to record information. There is one with many circles and lines which is a Muisca calendar. They are all small, easy to take around. Even the shapes in this stone are related to oral traditions and spiritual knowledge. It is said that the Muisca employed the technique of the lost wax to produce their gold figures, but we know the tale of “the stone that softens gold”. We know that thin sheets of gold were pressed against stones to produce small amulets, so maybe this was not a matrix for wax figures but a “negative” to shape thin sheets of gold.
Vila Llonch 2013
Carved stone matrices were used primarily by Muisca goldsmiths. Every inch of the surface was crowded with imagery to make the most of this tool. The same matrix could be used several times to mass produce sets of similar pieces for larger ornaments. More robust objects, such as the figure opposite, were also created using individual hand-made wax figures and the lost-wax casting technique.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
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