Pre-Columbian, Colombia, Tairona culture, Santa Marta, ca. 700 to 1500 CE. A fine trio of large greenstone ceremonial scepters/staffs, each with a long, tapering blade and a skillfully carved and incised butt. The tallest scepter presents a deeply incised face and elaborately detailed headdress, adorned with a pair of bicephalic (double-headed) serpent motifs. Another scepter is also incised with a figural motif; the blade tapers to a stylized double serpent head bearing teeth with incised snakeskin patterns and two geometric bands along the shaft. The third presents a smooth surface with carved lateral and terminal notches on the butt that may be interpreted as a pair of anthropomorphic or zoomorphic heads in profile facing outward. Size: tallest figure with bicephalic headdress measures 17.375" H (44.1 cm); 18.5" H (47 cm) on included custom stand.; two-headed serpent example measures 13.875" H (35.2 cm); 14.875" H (37.8 cm) on included custom stand; smooth surface example 15.125" H (38.4 cm); 16.375" H (41.6 cm) on included custom stand.
These objects are quite rare. Cf. the "Anthropological Series, Vol XX, No 1, Field Museum of Natural History by J. Alden Mason in 1931.
Provenance: private Lexington, Kentucky, USA collection, purchased in 1998 from David Bernstein Fine Art, New York, New York, USA
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