Pre-Columbian, Guerrero Mexico, Chontal, ca. 500 BCE. A superb carved, mottled greenstone maskette from Guerrero, Mexico, a region best known for Mezcala and Chontal sculpture created through drilling and string cutting, with expertly carved coffee bean shaped eyes, dramatically angled eyebrows, a triangular nose, and the mouth open in a perfectly round "O". Beyond these bold features, the face has more subtle modeling of the cheeks and facial contours and large, long ears. Scholars believe that large Chontal masks were tied to funerary bundles of the noble elite; however, this example being of a smaller size with a perforation behind the crown of the head was most likely used as an amulet. The ancient maskette has been set into an 18 karat gold brooch/pendant of modern angular, geometric style, created by Fridel Blumenthal (ca. 1980s). Size of maskette: 1.3" W x 1.2" H (3.3 cm x 3 cm); total size: 1.8" W x 1.9" H (4.6 cm x 4.8 cm); length of cord: 27" L (68.6 cm); 41.7 grams total weight
Provenance: private Rochester, Michigan, USA collection
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