Necklace

A work made of spondylus shell.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of spondylus shell.

Date:

200 B.C./A.D. 200

Artist:

Colima or Jalisco
Colima or Jalisco, Mexico

About this artwork

Figures and jewelry made of spondylus (spiny oyster) shell developed as a specialization in what are today the Mexican states of Colima and Jalisco. Like greenstone, jade, and colorful feathers, this bright orange shell was a luxury item sought by maritime merchants from Ecuador and Central America, who found it in warm Pacific waters as far north as the West Mexican coast. As emblems of authority and status, exotic materials were displayed by rulers during ceremonial events. Spondylus-shell jewelry carved with symbolic designs found in West Mexican tombs indicates the high esteem in which this valued material was held.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 136

Artist

Colima

Title

Necklace

Origin

Western Mexico

Date

200 AD

Medium

Spondylus shell

Dimensions

Diam. 50.8 cm (20 in.)

Credit Line

William and Annabelle McNulty Fund

Reference Number

1995.195

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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