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Mezcala Guerrero Greenstone Head - Cubist

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Mezcala Guerrero Greenstone Head - Cubist

Lot 0050N Details

Description
Pre-Columbian, Guerrero, Mexico, Mezcala style, ca. 300 BCE. This is a greenstone head with a look that could have inspired a Cubist -- a triangular face with nose and ovoid eyes and mouth. The upper back has two drilled holes for suspension. Mezcala sculpture makes us think about the individual elements of the human form by abstracting them into basic geometric shapes. Sculptures like this one play with planes and depressions. The type of stone it is made out of is a smooth grey-green andesite, a volcanic rock that, although hard and therefore difficult to carve, was heavily favored by the Mezcala and used to create many of their human form sculptures and some of their architectural models. The eyes and mouth would have been drilled out and the shape smoothed using sandstone abrasion. This particular example strongly resembles type M-22, which is described by Gay and Pratt (see below). We do not know what these heads represented, but because they are found in tombs, many researchers believe that they have something to do with the dead: their spirits, or a type of death mask. Gay and Pratt also suggest that they may have something to do with the Mezcala lunar religion -- perhaps they helped provide safe passage to the netherworld, which seems to have been located on the Moon. Size: 2" L x 3.5" W x 4" H (5.1 cm x 8.9 cm x 10.2 cm)

Net proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit six animal charities in Taos, New Mexico.

cf, Gay, C. and Pratt, F. 1992 Mezcala: Ancient Stone Sculpture from Guerrero, Mexico, Balsas Publication, Switzerland.

Provenance: Ex-[rivate K. Holkza collection via family descent from her sister, acquired in NYC before 1975

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.

We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#113953
Condition
Very slight wear and dirt encrustation.
Buyer's Premium
  • 22.5%

Mezcala Guerrero Greenstone Head - Cubist

Estimate
$1,200
-
$1,500
Jun 02, 2016
Starting Price
$600
6 bidders watching this item
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Ships fromBoulder County, CO, United States
Artemis Gallery

Artemis Gallery

Boulder County, CO, USA
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item

0050N: Mezcala Guerrero Greenstone Head - Cubist

Sold for
$600
1 Bid
Est.
$1,200
-
$1,500
Starting Price
$600
Exceptional Antiquities | Ethnographic Art
Thu, Jun 02, 2016 11:00 AM
Buyer's Premium 22.5%

Lot 0050N Details

Description
...
Pre-Columbian, Guerrero, Mexico, Mezcala style, ca. 300 BCE. This is a greenstone head with a look that could have inspired a Cubist -- a triangular face with nose and ovoid eyes and mouth. The upper back has two drilled holes for suspension. Mezcala sculpture makes us think about the individual elements of the human form by abstracting them into basic geometric shapes. Sculptures like this one play with planes and depressions. The type of stone it is made out of is a smooth grey-green andesite, a volcanic rock that, although hard and therefore difficult to carve, was heavily favored by the Mezcala and used to create many of their human form sculptures and some of their architectural models. The eyes and mouth would have been drilled out and the shape smoothed using sandstone abrasion. This particular example strongly resembles type M-22, which is described by Gay and Pratt (see below). We do not know what these heads represented, but because they are found in tombs, many researchers believe that they have something to do with the dead: their spirits, or a type of death mask. Gay and Pratt also suggest that they may have something to do with the Mezcala lunar religion -- perhaps they helped provide safe passage to the netherworld, which seems to have been located on the Moon. Size: 2" L x 3.5" W x 4" H (5.1 cm x 8.9 cm x 10.2 cm)

Net proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit six animal charities in Taos, New Mexico.

cf, Gay, C. and Pratt, F. 1992 Mezcala: Ancient Stone Sculpture from Guerrero, Mexico, Balsas Publication, Switzerland.

Provenance: Ex-[rivate K. Holkza collection via family descent from her sister, acquired in NYC before 1975

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.

We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#113953
Condition
...
Very slight wear and dirt encrustation.

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720.890.7700
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
USA
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