Pre-Columbian, Central America, Costa Rica, ca. 200 to 600 CE. A breathtaking Costa Rican pendant comprised of wonderfully translucent blue-green jadeite, expertly string cut on both sides to represent a stylized tropical bird - a toucan - with a profile of a prominent beak, crest, tail feathers, and delineated feet projecting from his lower body. Biconically drilled through the eyes for suspension. Size: 1.45" W x 1.85" H (3.7 cm x 4.7 cm)
Costa Rica, along with Mesoamerica, is one of the two regions where jade was extensively carved in the Pre-Columbian world. The earliest example of worked jade, a pendant excavated from a burial site on the Nicoya Peninsula, dated to the mid-first millennium BCE. It appears that jade continued to be carved into personal ornaments, usually depicting animals such as birds, monkey, or frogs, until approximately 700 CE when gold became the favored material to fashion such ornaments.
Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
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