Lot 15
  • 15

Large Coclé Gold Frog Pendant ca. A.D. 800-1200

50,000 - 70,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • gold
crouching on splayed feet, and with large stylized alligator heads curling from the mouth, the front feet forming suspension loops.


John Wise
Acquired from the above by the present owner's family in 1973

Catalogue Note

Anuran gold pendants may represent either the tree frog (who range from 1 inch to over 5 inches), or terrestrial poisonous and hallucinogenic toads whose toxins were utilized in hunting and shaman ceremonies. The elaborate sprays and spirals emanating from their mouth represent ephemeral bubbles or general water symbols; frequently these are combined with stylized saurian heads. Here the opposed profile heads are trimmed by a classic Coclé-style triangular motif cross the top.

These 'flange-footed' frogs, often with stylized emanations from the mouth are found in various parts of the Isthmus region including the Veraguas-Gran Chiriquí region of Costa Rica. for similar frogs and style elements, see Graham in Quilter and Hoopes (2003:282-283, figs. 4-6); Lothrop (1950:65, Fig. 98 d); and Marzio (2011:157) the latter a frog in the Alfred C. Glassell Jr. Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.