Gold of Peru Museum
Museo de Oro del Peru
Monday to Friday of 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Alonso de Molina 1100, Monterrico, Surco, Lima
(+51 1) 345-1292 - (+51 1)345-1271 - (+51 1)345-1787
Adults S/. 33.00
Children under 11 S/. 16.00
This private collection contains a staggering display of pre-Hispanic gold, Paracas textiles, and ceramics. There's also an excellent bookshop, and large display of military objects connected with important people from world history. Audio Guide Service Multilingual: French / English / German / Spanish.
The Gold of Peru and Arms of the World Museums were founded by Miguel Mujica Gallo in 1968. Between both museums, 25,000 objects are on exhibition.
The Gold of Peru Museum holds the most important pieces in gold, silver and gilded copper from a number of Peru's different pre-Columbian cultures, including Lambayeque, Chimú, Mochica, Nazca, Frias, Huari, Vicus and Inca Culture.
The "Gold of the Yungas" (as splendorous as the Sun of the Incas) shone brightly; it was an ornament that covered mummies and embellished temples; it was used, however, as a means of exchange or to fulfill a utilitarian role of wealth.
The showcases of the "Gold Museum of Peru" display the craftsmanship of several centuries of Peruvian history, mainly in pre-Inca gold. There are decorative items of all the cultures, such as, embossed and weaved nose ornaments with cut stone pendants; sets of filigree figures depicting birds, men, or monkeys; mantles, bracelets and earflaps of the Vicus culture; lizards, weasels, felines, bags of coca leaves, earrings and belts of the Frias culture; pectorals with zoomorphic designs, flat or embossed crowns of the Chancay culture; funerary masks with twisted rays or serpents from Ica; and masks with open mouths and teeth, wristbands, shin protectors and spatulas of the Nazca culture.
The different exhibition rooms of the museum also harbor the richness of the gold objects of the Chimu art; exquisite vessels or "huacos" from Lambayeque with two open spouts joined by a curved handle; large funerary masks painted red and eyes inlaid with stones; high crowns of feathers, "tumis" or ceremonial knives depicting the image of an idol on the handle and made of filigree; ceremonial vases with inlays; large embossed glove-like hands and arms; foxes, fish, earflaps, earrings, brooches, pectorals, a countless number of necklaces; scepters, small pots, mantles decorated with thousands of gold pieces (simulating scales); gold balls, gold pendants, and even large wooden portable gold-plated platforms inlaid with precious stones.
The ancient Peruvian people worked the metals magnificently. Embossing, lamination, engraving, welding and alloying were the processes used by the Peruvian craftsmen in the 8 th Century. The "cire perdue" (lost wax) procedure, known in the East and which had disappeared in the Western World until the Renaissance, was the most popular procedure: it reproduced an object in a semi-solid resin, covering it with a layer of ceramic, similar to that of the "huacos", heating it until the molten resin seeped through the covering, leaving a cast identical to the original object, into which the melted metal was poured. Once the metal had solidified, the covering would be broken.
The following technique was also used in the North of Peru: items were hammered and embossed or engraved, cut and fitted, hardened through heating, and thereafter soldered by hammering or by welding, with low grade gold or silver. Small furnaces equipped with a copper pipe to conduct the air with which they stoked the fire were used for this procedure.
It has five halls:
- Main Room
- Vessels Room
- Feathers Room
- The Litter Room
- Working Tools Room
The Arms of the World Museum was also founded by Miguel Mujica Gallo in 1968. It exhibits 20,000 pieces, including weapons from all over the world, equestrian equipment and implements, uniforms, etc.
In ancient times, men exhibited their wealth through their weapons: gold and diamonds, emeralds and opals, rubies and turquoises decorated their swords and sables. The hilts and shield were handcrafted by talented craftsmen, with such art that they conjured fantastic animals and flowers, engraving and sculpturing them on the weapons they manufactured.
From its most distant origins, the sword has been a symbol of authority and leadership; which virtues are manifested in chivalry and courage.
The handgun, small cannon, culverin, shotgun, harquebus and the Italian pistols of the mid-14th Century were a considerable modification of the primitive weapons, such as the crossbow.
The wheel mechanism and the silica caused the combustion of the blasting charge; which was later replaced by the agate, because this mineral had a greater consistency, followed by the harquebus, rifle and carbine. Firearms evolved slowly and it was during the course of the first thirty years of the second half of the 19th Century that large changes in individual arms were produced: an essential change in the technique, an industrial revolution. Thus, between 1850 and 1860, the cylinder-ogival missile was introduced, with an increase in range and improvement of accuracy. During the period 1860 – 1866, with the outbreak of the American Civil War and the Prussian-Austrian War, the metal cartridge that simplifies the weapon was permanently adopted. In 1878, coinciding with the war between Russian and Turkey, the repeater was adopted.
To tour the Weapons of the World Museum is to go back in time, traveling the world and history: admiring the swords and daggers, uniforms, spears, guns and pistols of different civilizations and changing cultures.
There are six halls:
- Historical Personages Room
- Oriental Room
- Japanese Room
- Equestrian Equipment and Implements Room
- European and American Room
Within the gardens surrounding these museums there is a walkway of shops offering handicrafts, jewelry, textiles and Peruvian souvenirs in general made especially for visitors.