Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Olmec, ca. 1000 to 400 BCE. A striking amulet, hand-carved from mottled emerald-green stone with dark inclusions, in the form of a disembodied head of classic Olmec presentation. A thick neck courses upwards to an oblong, ovoid head which appears artificially shaped, a sign of high status due to cranial deformation as the Olmec traditionally wore tight-fitting helmets. Recessed coffee-bean-shaped eyes, an X-shaped nasal bridge, a triangular nose with drilled nostrils, and a gaping mouth are all expertly formed with symmetrical contours, and both bar-shaped ears have biconically-drilled suspension holes which held additional ornamentation at one time. Custom lucite display stand included. Size: 1.2" W x 1.875" H (3 cm x 4.8 cm); 3.2" H (8.1 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
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Loss to outer border of one drilled ear hole. Minor abrasions, small nicks to mouth, ears, eyes, nose, neck, and head, and some pitting to top of head and back. Nice earthen deposits throughout.