Pre-Columbian Copper Sican Life-size Lambayeque Copper Funerary Mask, Circa 1000 - 1200 AD - Copper - Sican - Peru

Pre-Columbian Copper Sican Life-size Lambayeque Copper Funerary Mask, Circa 1000 - 1200 AD - Copper - Sican - Peru
Good condition, used with some signs of wear


CIRCA 1000 TO 1200 A.D.

Sicán (Lambayeque)

Middle Sicán Period.
Circa 1000 - 1200 A.D.

Circa 36,5 cm width.
Circa 21,0 cm height.
Circa 3,0 cm depth.

Circa 324,0 gram.


The state of preservation is excellent. Surface presents a beautiful green patina, with traces of corrosion and hard sediment deposits.

Private Collection of Mr. Michael J. Vaupel, Miami, Florida USA. Acquired in 2000 to 20 august 2013.
Formerly in the Private Collection of Mr. Gloria Lisset Reyes Garcia, Miami, Florida USA. Acquired in the 1960`s - 1970`s to 2000.
Ex. Private Florida Collection. Acquired circa 1960`s.
Private South American Collection of Mr. Razeto. Acquired in the 1950`s to 1960`s.
Acquired before 1950.

A life-size Sican Funerary Copper Mask, dating back to 1000 to 1200 A.D. This wonderful copper Sican mask has belonged ones to a high priest or deceased ruler from the Sican / Lambayeque culture in Norther Peru. Sican masks meant to protect the deceased in the afterlife and was put into the grave on top or around the upper-part of the body. This mask has characteristic almond-shaped eyes and upturned applied with rounded pupils, pointed nose with places on top of the mask, narrow straight mouth, all executed by repousse technique.

The ovoid eyes terminating in a point are characteristically Lambayeque in style, and may represent a being known as the Sicán Deity. According to Izumi Shimada and colleagues, an individual interred with such a mask would have been thought to take on aspects of the Sicán Deity’s power, and would have been transformed into venerated ancestors upon death. Clearly visible and so typical for the Sican masks, are the hanging nose ornament with hanging dangles and with round dangles hanging on the ears.

Masks made of hammered sheet metal have been found in tombs of both men and women in the Lambayeque region, near the modern city of Chiclayo. Such masks are lacking perforations or openings that would have allowed mortals to see or breathe, and were most likely used exclusively to cover the faces of deceased individuals of high status. In one tomb from Batán Grande, a major center of the Lambayeque culture (also known as Sicán), one mask was found over the face of a mummy, and four others were placed at the foot of the deceased. Although such masks may have only been worn by the dead, danglers attached to the mask would have conveyed a sense of movement, perhaps life, as the mummy bundle was processed to its final resting place deep within a monumental platform mound. Almost all danglers below the nose and on the right ear on this mask survive, although at one time many more were present at he left ear, as indicated by the pairs of perforations on the ears and ear ornaments.

All Works of Art offered for sale are “Guaranteed to be Authentic as Described” correspond to the given; Title, Culture and Period. The given “Guarantee of Authenticity” is valid as long as you own the piece, up to the original purchaser only and will not be transferable to any third party. All sale transactions and online bids at our auctions are placed in person and are legally binding. All auction sales are final, no refund, no exchange, no cancellation possible.

Every Work of Art has been approved by Catawiki Expert(s) after a thorough review on its authenticity and correct description, correspond to the given; Title, Culture and Period.

The Seller will ship the item(s) within 3 days after receiving confirmation of payment. For transport within the European Union, no export license is required for this lot. Due to the importance of this piece, an export license must be requested once it has to be shipped outside the European Union. This goes through the heritage inspection of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. An export license will be arranged after the final sale and can take some time up to 3 to 4 weeks.

The seller can prove that the lot was obtained legally. The seller guarantees that he acquired this object in a legal manner and is authorized to sell it. Documentation seen by Catawiki. If you have questions about a specific object, please send an email via the Catawiki mail system.

Lot details
Pre-Columbian Copper Sican Life-size Lambayeque Copper Funerary Mask, Circa 1000 - 1200 AD
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Sold with stand
Good condition, used with some signs of wear
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 50,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in