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Huge / Impressive Maya Green Serpentine Celt

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Lot 0071A Details

Description
Pre-Columbian, Maya, probably Guatemala, Late Classic Period, 500 to 800 CE. A sizeable axe celt finely carved from greenstone (serpentine) of rich verdant hues with white inclusions. A celt of this size was created for ceremonial purposes or for the ritual demonstration of power. The stone was meticulously flaked and then sanded smooth to a reflective sheen, resulting in a ceremonial celt with an elegant, tapering body presenting a rounded handle and a broad upper section with an acutely-angled edge. An impressive celt that exemplifies the impressive techniques of the Maya peoples. Size: 11.5" H (29.2 cm); 12.75" H (32.4 cm) on included custom stand.

Celts were associated with ears of corn in the Pre-Columbian world, the V-shape being associated with the husk from which the cob emerged. At the ancient Olmec site of La Venta (a coastal city near present day Tabasco), caches of celts were discovered planted vertically like miniature stelae. The blunt end of this celt would suggest a similar use, and when placed in a vertical position its appearance is much more dramatic. In this stance the celt served to define the central axis mundi and the corners of the four-sided world, regarded as a cosmic maize field.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; Ex Everett Rassiga collection

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#157062
Condition
Intact and excellent with areas of wear/erosion on reverse as shown.
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Huge / Impressive Maya Green Serpentine Celt

Estimate $5,000 - $8,000Aug 13, 2020
Starting Price $2,500
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Ships fromLouisville, CO, United States
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