An Inca silver figurine at National Museums Scotland: Technological study [En línea] - NMS Research Repository
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Journal article

An Inca silver figurine at National Museums Scotland: Technological study [En línea]

29 April 2017

Abstract

The hollow silver male miniature figurine from National Museums Scotland is one of the tallest specimens made in precious metals attributed to the Incas. In spite of showing the expected characteristics of this type of Inca production for ritual offerings —regular proportions and standing pose, representation of its gender, bulging cheek associated to coca leaves chewing and elongated earlobes— this figurine differs from the regular figurines by the form of the top of its head. In addition, the skilled decoration includes details such as well portrayed feet. The technologies and the alloy employed in its manufacture were examined using a stereo microscope and by non-destructive X-ray fluorescence analysis. Comparison between this figurine with the hollow silver male figurines of equivalent stature and typology kept at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection and Museum of America shows that they are all made with the same technology and by employing silver alloys with copper contents below 0.5%. These alloys are richer in silver than the majority of the alloys employed to fabricate normal Inca hollow figurines of known provenance or from other museum collections.

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