Lot 4
  • 4

Sinú Gold Toucan Finial, ca. A.D. 500-1000

60,000 - 90,000 USD
74,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • gold
proudly perched with upright head and long straight beak, with raised eyes and double striated crests arching over the head, wings folded tightly to the body and tail fanned outward, the tapering neck and chest of openwork design, the feet clutching the cylindrial shaft pierced for attachment to a staff or scepter.


Catalogue Note

The Caribbean northern lowland region of Colombia's Sinú and San Jorge rivers was home to the greater Zenú  people. Their sophisticated and elaborate system of artificial canals and raised beds was the largest hydralic system in prehispanic America, which supported  communities reaching a  florescence at AD 500-1000. The high level of gold technology grew from the exchange with the broader area including the Isthmus region.

Early Zenú gold work includes finely cast heavy finials for staffs that feature naturalistic animals of the lowland plains including birds, land animals and aquatic creatures. Avians are frequently cast with openwork filigree design, and are associated with the upper level of the cosmos. See Falchetti (2000:132-137, and Fig. 7.5e and Fig. 7.8) for examples of avian finials.