Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0166
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

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 to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.



The smooth surface scepter has been professionally restored with all parts original, prior to 1998. Tallest with chips to lower serpent heads, nicks to end of blade, and old losses (possibly inherent to the stone) to one side of blade. Shorter double-serpent scepter has a few tiny nicks and scuffs, but is otherwise excellent.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Trio Tairona Ceremonial Green Stone Scepters

Estimate $5,000 - $7,000Oct 12, 2017
Louisville, CO, USA