Uncanny Artist Ephemera and Objects for Artists and Collectors
  • Peruvian Peacock Tupo or Shawl Pin

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    This is a traditional Peruvian Peacock Tupo or Shawl Pin.  For thousands of years, women in the Andes have used these pins to fasten their garments such as the lliclla (a common shoulder cloth, mostly used in villages).  Measuring 3.5" long (from feathers to dangles) by 1.5" wide, the pin shows a peacock displaying an open array of thirteen stylized feathers.  On his head (above a skeletal face) he wears what appears to be a three point crown, while what looks like a fringed shawl is draped around his shoulders.  His feet stand on a flower with seven visible striated petals and a deep blue glass cabochon at the center.  Two chains hang from the base of the flower, each with an abstract "charm."  On back, there is a simple metal straight pin which fastens inside an open loop.  The metal is unmarked but the bird and the flower appear to be a bronze base metal with a silver overlay.  Age is unknown but the design is similar to other tupos made in the 1960s.  The chains and charms appear to be an alloy.  Maker and age are unknown.