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Lot 0110
Pre-Columbian, southern Mexico and Guatemala, Maya, late Classic Period, ca. 700 to 900 CE. Amazing and exceedingly unique! Beautifully engraved with late Classic lord's heads and readable glyphs, the incised designs look from a distance like a swirling pattern mixed in with the the browns, reds, creams, and purples of the shells' surfaces. Size of each (approximate): 2.4" L x 1.05" W (6.1 cm x 2.7 cm)

The type of shells carved in these examples is a lettered olive, found in shallow waters along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The lords heads in the designs show classic Maya markers of wealth: elaborate headdresses, feathers, jewelry. The three clearest glyphs all appear to be syllabary, probably spelling out a name or maybe a place.

Provenance: Ex-Suk Family Collection, acquired in the 1960's and passed by descent

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#119956

Condition

Both are fragile, with small areas of loss - one with a chip on the base, the other with a chip to the center and surface wear. However, incised glyphs are clear over much of the surface.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Pre-Columbian Mayan Carved Shells (pr)

Estimate $2,000 - $3,000Feb 9, 2017