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Fine Colima Obsidian Spear Blades - Black, Mahogany

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Artemis Gallery

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$501 bid

**Originally Listed At $75**Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A handsome stone blade knapped from

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Fine Colima Obsidian Spear Blades - Black, Mahogany

Lot 0056 Details

Description
Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A fine pair of hand-knapped obsidian stone spear heads. The smaller is a pretty mahogany obsidian with deep umber hues. This head has a short triangular blade with pointed fins and a long neck. The other spear head is made from a massive and lustrous black obsidian, shaped with a long, thick blade with a notch above a short neck. Both spear tips were created by knapping, a process that involves hitting the obsidian with a harder stone to flake the surface into the desired form. Obsidian was revered for its naturally glassy surface that fractured into razor sharp edges. These spearheads may have been votive pieces for burial, rather than warfare. Size (mahogany): 8.5" L x 1.125" W (21.6 cm x 2.9 cm); (black): 12" L x 1.5" W (30.5 cm x 3.8 cm); (case): 18" L x 12" W (45.7 cm x 30.5 cm)

Obsidian - also known as "iztli" - fascinated the ancient Mesoamericans; the Aztecs even had a god, Tezcatlipoca, who was the Lord of the Smoking Obsidian Mirror. The sharp edges and glassy surfaces of these pieces demonstrate obsidian's great allure. In a world without metal, this sharp quality was especially important for ceremonies of ritual bloodletting and human sacrifice. The difficult-to-obtain material came from volcanic sources in the Sierra Madre of Mexico and Guatemala, traded hundreds of miles to meet the demand for sharp cutting tools and ritual objects, and then was struck using deer antler or small hammer stones to form blades and other shapes. The Colima buried their dead in shaft tombs deep below their residences, alongside the remains of their ancestors. These tombs were richly furnished with ceramic figures, vessels, offerings, and precious stone items of jade and obsidian like these examples.

Provenance: ex-Dr. David Harner collection, Arkansas, USA, 1950s-1960s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#161381
Condition
Minor nicks to peripheries that are not from the knapping process. Areas of light mineral deposits. Overall excellent and both are very large!
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Fine Colima Obsidian Spear Blades - Black, Mahogany

Estimate $2,500 - $3,000
Jan 14
Starting Price $1,500
9 bidders watching this item
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Ships fromLouisville, CO, United States
Artemis Gallery

Artemis Gallery

Louisville, CO, USA
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0056: Fine Colima Obsidian Spear Blades - Black, Mahogany

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $2,500 - $3,000Starting Price $1,500
Arms & Armor | Antiquity to Present Day
Thu, Jan 14, 2021 12:00 PM
Buyer's Premium 24.5%

Lot 0056 Details

Description
...
Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A fine pair of hand-knapped obsidian stone spear heads. The smaller is a pretty mahogany obsidian with deep umber hues. This head has a short triangular blade with pointed fins and a long neck. The other spear head is made from a massive and lustrous black obsidian, shaped with a long, thick blade with a notch above a short neck. Both spear tips were created by knapping, a process that involves hitting the obsidian with a harder stone to flake the surface into the desired form. Obsidian was revered for its naturally glassy surface that fractured into razor sharp edges. These spearheads may have been votive pieces for burial, rather than warfare. Size (mahogany): 8.5" L x 1.125" W (21.6 cm x 2.9 cm); (black): 12" L x 1.5" W (30.5 cm x 3.8 cm); (case): 18" L x 12" W (45.7 cm x 30.5 cm)

Obsidian - also known as "iztli" - fascinated the ancient Mesoamericans; the Aztecs even had a god, Tezcatlipoca, who was the Lord of the Smoking Obsidian Mirror. The sharp edges and glassy surfaces of these pieces demonstrate obsidian's great allure. In a world without metal, this sharp quality was especially important for ceremonies of ritual bloodletting and human sacrifice. The difficult-to-obtain material came from volcanic sources in the Sierra Madre of Mexico and Guatemala, traded hundreds of miles to meet the demand for sharp cutting tools and ritual objects, and then was struck using deer antler or small hammer stones to form blades and other shapes. The Colima buried their dead in shaft tombs deep below their residences, alongside the remains of their ancestors. These tombs were richly furnished with ceramic figures, vessels, offerings, and precious stone items of jade and obsidian like these examples.

Provenance: ex-Dr. David Harner collection, Arkansas, USA, 1950s-1960s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#161381
Condition
...
Minor nicks to peripheries that are not from the knapping process. Areas of light mineral deposits. Overall excellent and both are very large!

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Artemis Gallery
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686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
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