Moche Gold and Turquoise Inlay Ear Ornament
ca. A.D. 200-500
the long cylindrical shaft surmounted by a gold frontal inlaid with a mosaic of turquoise, and decorated with an applied gold warrior composed of carefully fitted sheets, holding a club and shield, with turquoise eyes and earrings, and flanked above by two sodalite avian warriors also holding clubs.
Diameter: 3 1/2 in (8.9 cm)
Length: 3 3/4 in (9.5 cm)
Found: Siberian collection of Peter I. Russia, Siberia
This plaque in the shape of a griffin standing on the defeated ibex served as decoration of the headdress of a noble warrior. The entire composition is raised in relief from a sheet of gold. The griffin’s head is hollow. Its figure seems enormous as compared with that of the ibex. The ibex is depicted with its hind quarters twisted upwards, which is typical of Altaic art. The griffin’s body was richly decorated in a cloisonne technique, but the insets have not survived.