The Treasury - Fine Pre-Columbian Art


6470. SINU GILT FINIAL, Columbia, c. 500-1000 AD. The ceremonial finial with an ornately crested long-beaked heron seated on its attachment staff. Gilt copper. Small stable crack to right side of neck. 4". .A masterpiece of Pre-Columbian metalworking art and an extremely rare museum quality artifact. Provenance: Acquired by the current owner at Harmer Rooke Galleries in the late 1980's.

The Sinu mastered the art of lost wax casting with the creation of such sculptural figures, used to crown ceremonial staffs. Cf. Wardwell, figs. 69 and 71, and Emmerich, fig. 91. for examples of avian finials, the later two in the collections of the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.