View full screen - View 1 of Lot 93. Sicán Gold Beaker with Frogs Circa AD 900 - 1100.
93

Sicán Gold Beaker with Frogs Circa AD 900 - 1100

Estimate:

25,000

to
- 35,000 USD

Property of an American Private Collector

Sicán Gold Beaker with Frogs Circa AD 900 - 1100

Sicán Gold Beaker with Frogs Circa AD 900 - 1100

Estimate:

25,000

to
- 35,000 USD

Property of an American Private Collector

Sicán Gold Beaker with Frogs

Circa AD 900 - 1100


Height: 5 1/2 in (14 cm)

To request a condition report for this lot, please contact Gaia.Lettere@sothebys.com

John Wise, New York
Paul Tishman, New York
Wally and Brenda Zollman, Indianapolis
Sotheby’s, New York, The Wally and Brenda Zollman Collection, May 27, 1998, lot 11
American Private Collection, acquired at the above auction
World of Ancient Gold, Foreward by Dr.. William M. Milliken, New York, 1964, p. 27 (top left)
Indianapolis Museum of Art, ed., Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas: Private Indianapolis Collections, Indianapolis, 1986, cat. no. 49
Lee A. Parsons, John B. Carlson, Peter David Joralemon, The Face of Ancient America: The Wally and Brenda Zollman Collection of Precolumbian Art, Indianapolis, 1988, pp. 210-211, cat. no. 147
World of Ancient Gold, New York World's Fair traveling exhibition, 1964-1965
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas: Private Indianapolis Collections, July 8 - September 7, 1986
Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Face of Ancient America: The Wally and Brenda Zollman Collection of Precolumbian Art, December 3, 1988 - February 26, 1989; additional venue: Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, June 13 - September 10, 1989

The gently flaring walls are deeply repoussé with two rows of frogs, comprising four on the lower row and five above. Each frog has legs outstretched in a lively manner and the spines are marked by rows of circles; their eyes are surmounted by concentric folds.


The hammered beakers of the Sicán era are perhaps the most iconic gold objects of this dynamic political and cultural period. The imagery that reinforced water and fertility to ensure agricultural success was of the utmost importance, and frogs were an apt and frequently used creature decorating gold and textiles. Andean toads and frogs include the Bufo spinulosus and the large Bufo marinus, both of which have distinctive knobby skin as shown here. Their serums were used for hallucinogenic ceremonies as well as acting as potent tools to stun their prey.


This beaker was part of the 1964 World's Fair exhibition pavillions The World of Ancient Gold.