Artifacts - Mexico and Central America

 Pre-Columbian Gold

Frog Rattle Head Fragment

circa 800 to 1500 AD

Classic Period

ORIGIN: Costa Rica

From a California private collection 


Interesting fragment of a large Mayan gold frog ornament with rattle eyes.  Hollow globular eye stalks containing two small stone rattles.  Displayed in a 13.5" x 10.5" acrylic display box. Marked 9G on back of display box ( 9 grams?).

Two predominant type of gold alloy were used in Costa Rica and Panama; high quality, 10 to 18kt gold. and a low quality gold alloy known as "Tumbaga". Tumbaga is a combination of gold layered over a copper core, which turns green as the copper interior is exposed from age and weathering.  The surface patina, and blackened coloration on broken surfaces indicates that this piece is high quality gold, rather than Tumbaga.


( While we guarantee authenticity, we cannot guarantee exact weight or carat weight. )


After 500 AD gold replaced jadeite as the most precious material to the pre-Columbian peoples of Costa Rica. Master craftsmen took the art of goldsmithing to great heights, creating a huge variety of decorative and ceremonial objects.  The frog was a popular subject in Pre-Columbian gold jewelry, associated with the moon, rain, and love, as well as physical and spiritual transformation.


Two Examples of Complete Works

CONDITION: Fragment with some black patches from oxidation.  Fractured at base of head.

dimensions: approx 1 1/4" wide x 3/4" high x 1 1/4" long 

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