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Lot 0375
**Originally Listed At $1200**

Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Olmec culture, ca. 1500 BCE. A fabulous Olmec hunchback figural pendant, hand-carved from a mottled pale-green stone with brown and beige inclusions, standing atop a pair of attenuated legs. The torso is characteristically misshapen, with a protruding chest, slender shoulders, arms bent at the elbow, and a dramatically hunched back extending skyward from its neck. The expressive countenance is derived from recessed ovoid eyes, a petite triangular nose, open mouth with full lips, and furrowed brow, all atop a slightly-elongated skull, perhaps as a result of ritualistic cranial deformation. A biconically-drilled perforation through the back hump allows for suspension. Beautiful and enigmatic, this pendant is an exemplary piece of Olmec stone-work! Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 0.7" W x 2.375" H (1.8 cm x 6 cm); 3.25" H (8.3 cm) on included custom stand.

The piece was made by string cutting, drilling, and using sandstone as an abrasive. Olmec artisans employed long-distance trade routes through Mexico and Central America to acquire greenstone like this, going so far as Eastern Guatemala over three hundred miles from their homeland. In short, the covetous tendencies the Olmecs exhibited towards greenstone speaks volumes regarding its perceived value within their society. Green stones like this seem to have been associated with water, vegetation, and young corn, the staple food of Olmec life. Based on burial practices, particularly the objects from important burials at La Venta in the present day Mexican state of Tabasco, we believe that greenstone was reserved for high nobility, royalty, and the gods.

Provenance: private, Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Surface wear commensurate with age, small nicks and losses to mouth, feet, top of head, and verso, some fading to carved details, and scattered areas of light roughness, otherwise excellent. Light earthen and mineral deposits throughout. Old inventory number written in black beneath posterior.

Starting Bid


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Olmec Greenstone Pendant - Standing Hunchback

Estimate $1,800 - $2,700
$7500 bids
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Artemis Gallerybadge TOP RATED
Louisville, CO, USA