Gold Pendant of a Jaguar Eating a Double-Headed Snake

SKU FJ.5223

700 AD to 1550 AD


4.875″ (12.4cm) high




Costa Rica

Gallery Location



This extraordinary gold jaguar pendant is a dramatic example of the superb Costa Rican artistry that developed prior to its European discovery. Early sixteenth century conquistadors marveled at the quality of the Costa Rican gold and stood in awe of the local artists’ mastery of this most desirable medium. Quite possibly this jaguar pendant was chronicled by one of the Spanish explorers, his writing filled with superlatives as he described the pendant’s unique combination of power and beauty. With its body crouched in an incredibly natural posture of feral energy, the feline holds in his open mouth the mid-section of curving two- headed snake. The back of each snakes’ head is deftly held by the jaguar’s strong paws. The curving lines of the snake in the front of the jaguar are echoed by a curving two-headed snake in the back of the feline, created as a highly stylized rendering of the cat’s tail. When viewed as a pendant, hanging in an upright position, the amazing skill and sensitivity of the Costa Rican artist becomes even more apparent. A unique sense of balance and proportion in the design, combined with a highly realistic rendering of he jaguar’s body, and the intrinsic beauty of the medium makes this masterpiece of Pre-Columbian goldwork. It is truly a work of art unrivaled in its power and beauty. – (FJ.5223)

Login to view price