Finial or Ornament in the Shape of Two Hunters Carrying a Deer Maker: Unknown

A.D. 400–700

Art of the Ancient Americas

During the declining years of the Moche empire of the North Coast of Peru, metalsmiths employed increasingly complex methods of casting metals, such as copper and copper alloys. In this small, fairly rough work, created in several stages using the lost-wax technique, two hunters carry a dead stag. Both hunters wear feathered headdresses and carry bags on their backs. The freshly killed stag, its legs tied together and tongue lolling out of its mouth, swings freely from the rod held by the hunters. The group stands on a small base, forming a finial that was once attached to a larger ceremonial object, perhaps a knife or a chisel.


Copper or copper alloy


6 × 6.2 × 2 cm (2 3/8 × 2 7/16 × 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Thomas T. Solley, B.A. 1950

Accession Number



Early Intermediate Period to Middle Horizon


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



North Coast (Loma Negra?); Thomas T. Solley (1924–2006), Bloomington, Ind., to 2002; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

  • "Acquisitions 2002," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2003): 131.
  • Kathleen Berrin and Dr. Christopher B. Donnan, The Spirit of Ancient Peru: Treasures from the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera, exh. cat. (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997), 51–59.
  • Rebecca Stone-Miller, Art of the Andes: From Chavin to Inca (London: Thames and Hudson, 1995).
  • George A. Kubler, The Art and Architecture of Ancient America, 3d ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 1984).
  • Heather Lechtman, Pre-Columbian Metallurgy of South America (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1979), pgs. 1–40.
  • Dr. Christopher B. Donnan, Moche Art of Peru: Pre-Columbian Symbolic Communication (Los Angeles: Fowler Museum at UCLA, 1978).

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

animal art, human figures (visual works), ornament



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