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Lot 0135
**Originally Listed At $1500**

Pre-Columbian, Mexico, Aztec Empire, ca. 1400 to 1521 CE. Painstakingly carved from volcanic stone, this sculpture represents a seated male figure of import, most likely an Aztec deity. He sits with his hands resting upon his knees; his body is foreshortened and the focus of the sculptor was clearly on the hands, legs, and head. The figure wears an elaborate headdress that flares outward to each side and above his head in roughly triangular forms. The surface shows marks from the pecking method used by the sculptor to bring this piece of stone to life. Size: 5.5" W x 11" H (14 cm x 27.9 cm)

Aztec stone sculpture is a culmination of centuries of stone carving in Mesoamerica, and, using fragile volcanic stone, these ancient artists were able to create remarkably detailed and poignant artworks. This figure is almost certainly a deity. There seems to have been a set of strict visual rules for depicting these figures - youthful faces, with inlaid eyes (missing here) and half-open mouths, strict symmetry of pose and clothing, and, for males like this one, often shown seated, with knees drawn up (females are shown kneeling). Aztec people would have instantly known who this god was and what it meant to see him in his place of honor.

Provenance: private Hawaiian collection

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Surface wear and minor losses commensurate with age. Eyes probably once had inlays. Nice red pigment remains. The word "Tezontepec" referring to a town in Central Mexico is written in black block letters on the rim/back/side of base.

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Aztec Carved Stone Figure of a Seated Deity

Estimate $2,000 - $3,000Feb 1, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA