SOLD: Pectoral, Moluccas

Mas Piring
Tanimbar, Moluccas
Circa 18th – 19th century
Diameter: 19 cm / 7½”; weight: 111.6 gr

Dish-like pectorals such as this were considered powerful tokens of the ancestors and formed part of the sacred heirloom treasures of aristocratic families. They would only be brought out and worn at ceremonial occasions, often in conjunction with village-alliance rituals, where the chiefs would literally flash their gold heirlooms at each other as the culmination of a lavish 5-day ritual celebration.

Its design motif comprising of a central raised star surrounded by scrolled S-spirals on the outer perimeter echoes the ancient heritage of a millennia old bronze age culture.

Insulinde Indonesian Arts