Fine Art Restoration/incan copper pot

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inca pot
inca pot  

inca pot2
inca pot2  
Not sure if you have came across old south american pottery before but you mentioned you know metals. So what I have here is a copper pot with a gold sun god figure on handle. There are depictions of a warrior, sun god, mask, and llama on sides. I bought it at an antique shop and wondering if it is a period piece or if it was made in peru region for tourist trade. I do not see any modern machinery used such as welding or screws. Any info will be appreciated.

Answer
Hi Chris,

Although I'm not a curatorial expert in South American metalwork (my metal knowledge is in conservation and materials science of metals), this looks like a modern (i.e. 20th century) tourist piece.
From what I've seen of Moche and Inca metalwork objects and techniques, they didn't make anything this large or utlitiarian.  Also, the rivet construction for the spout and handle pieces appear to be modern.  I haven't seen rivet construction on actual Incan pieces.
The decorations and blue paint don't look like authentic Incan motifs since they are rather crudely done.
In general, gold, silver, and copper were rare and expensive in those cultures and were used for smaller high value objects.

Hope that helps.

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Paul S. Storch

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions concerning the preservation and conservation of three-dimensional archaeological, ethnographic, historic, technological, and decorative arts objects. My materials expertise includes leather, wood, metals, and composite materials.

Experience

I have close to thirty years experience as a conservator at three different museums and in private practice. I currently work as a collections manager overseeing 40,000 historic objects at over 20 sites around the state, as well as having a private treatment and consultation practice in the Midwest.

Organizations
American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Minnesota Association of Museums The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Professional Picture Framers Association

Publications
Journal of the American Institute For Conservation Texas Archaeology University of Texas Conservation Notes Caring for American Indian Objects/Minnesota Historical Society Press The Interpreter/Minnesota Historical Society Journal of Field Archaeology

Education/Credentials
B.A. in Anthropology/Archaeology; M.A. in Anthropology/Museum Studies with a concentration in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation.

Awards and Honors
Recognition certificate from the Institute of Museum Services

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