Pre-Columbian, Mexico, Guerrero, Mezcala, ca. 500 to 200 BCE. A gorgeous face maskette, finely string-cut from an inherently beautiful greenstone with black and tan inclusions. According to expert Carlo Gay, relatively few face panels or maskettes have been recorded compared to the number of carved stone figures, making this piece quite rare. This visage displays traits of type M-24 which is quite similar to type M-22 except for a few minor details, in this case those graceful, arched eyebrows and a better defined mouth. There is also a somewhat subtle morphologic relationship between faces of M-24 figures and those of Teotihuacan figural traditions with its triangular construction and angularity. According to expert Carlo Gay, M-22 and M-24 types, "exemplify the result of the gradual changes undergone by the Mezcala style over a long period of time, and emphasize the subtle evolutionary process with a more descriptive form of sculpture." (Carlo Gay, Mezcala Ancient Stone Sculpture from Guerrero Mexico. New York: Balsas Publications, 1992 p. 89) An extremely rare, expertly carved, and breathtakingly beautiful example. Bilaterally perforated for suspension. Custom, museum-quality stand. Size: mask itself measures 3.75" W x 4.75" H (9.5 cm x 12.1 cm); 5.75" H (14.6 cm) on stand
Net proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit six animal charities in Taos, New Mexico.
Provenance: Ex-private K. Holkza collection via family descent from her sister, acquired in NYC before 1975
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