This gold-colored object is cast from tumbaga, an alloy of copper, gold, and silver frequently used in the ancient Americas. Though it appears to be pure gold, the presence of 26.6% copper and 2.6% silver was confirmed using a nondestructive technique called x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). The proper combination of metals and the single casting of the piece (including the spiral designs seen at the top) help to confirm the authenticity of this object. Small metal tabs or bridges at the back were part of the construction of the original wax model.
- Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection Gift. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2012-2013.