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Maya Carved Shell Pectoral - Royal Bloodletting Scene

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Maya Carved Shell Pectoral - Royal Bloodletting Scene
Item Details
Description
Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Maya, Late Classical, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A very rare depiction of a bloodletting ceremony finely carved on a conch shell pectoral. The white shell surface is carved with two figures facing each other above a geometric pattern. The right figure is larger than the figure on the left, denoting rank and elite status as the royal queen. The ritual between them consists of the queen passing a rope studded with thorns through her tongue, while the priest or other attendant watches it unfold. Many Maya ritual objects used for the ceremony have been found, and although somewhat grisly, a fully depicted bloodletting scene is a thrill to find! Size: 8.5" L x 5" W (21.6 cm x 12.7 cm); 9.25" H (23.5 cm) on included custom stand.

Bloodletting was a ritual practice used throughout ancient Mesoamerica - scholars posit that the Olmec and the Maya elite were enthusiasts of the practice. Archaeologists have found obsidian blade, stingray tails, and bone needles, all believed to have been used in this practice, which allowed an individual to experience a heightened state of consciousness and thus communicate with the gods. The blood given also served as a sacrifice, the price paid by high ranking and royal Maya peoples in order to make contact with the supernatural.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex- Ian Arundel collection, California, USA, the Old Curiosity Cabinet, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California, USA, collected 1950s to 1970s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany. For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.

Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.

#159628
Condition
Surface wear, nicks, and chips commensurate with age. Natural pitting of shell material. Rare scene depiction!
Buyer's Premium
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Maya Carved Shell Pectoral - Royal Bloodletting Scene

Estimate $34,000 - $51,000
Sep 09, 2021
Starting Price $17,000
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Artemis Gallery

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0156: Maya Carved Shell Pectoral - Royal Bloodletting Scene

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $34,000 - $51,000Starting Price $17,000
Art & Artifacts of North America
Sep 09, 2021 10:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 24.5%

Lot 0156 Details

Description
...
Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Maya, Late Classical, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A very rare depiction of a bloodletting ceremony finely carved on a conch shell pectoral. The white shell surface is carved with two figures facing each other above a geometric pattern. The right figure is larger than the figure on the left, denoting rank and elite status as the royal queen. The ritual between them consists of the queen passing a rope studded with thorns through her tongue, while the priest or other attendant watches it unfold. Many Maya ritual objects used for the ceremony have been found, and although somewhat grisly, a fully depicted bloodletting scene is a thrill to find! Size: 8.5" L x 5" W (21.6 cm x 12.7 cm); 9.25" H (23.5 cm) on included custom stand.

Bloodletting was a ritual practice used throughout ancient Mesoamerica - scholars posit that the Olmec and the Maya elite were enthusiasts of the practice. Archaeologists have found obsidian blade, stingray tails, and bone needles, all believed to have been used in this practice, which allowed an individual to experience a heightened state of consciousness and thus communicate with the gods. The blood given also served as a sacrifice, the price paid by high ranking and royal Maya peoples in order to make contact with the supernatural.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex- Ian Arundel collection, California, USA, the Old Curiosity Cabinet, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California, USA, collected 1950s to 1970s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany. For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.

Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.

#159628
Condition
...
Surface wear, nicks, and chips commensurate with age. Natural pitting of shell material. Rare scene depiction!

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