Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A gorgeous blade of ovoid form used for ceremonial contexts, hand-knapped from mahogany-hued obsidian that is mottled with black speckles throughout. The lustrous tool exhibits convex faces, pointed tips, and knapped blade edges on both sides that could rival even the finest modern-day surgical instruments. Of expert construction and symmetrical form, this is a fabulous example of ancient Colima ingenuity! Size: 7.3" L x 1.6" W (18.5 cm x 4.1 cm)
Obsidian - "iztli" to them - fascinated the ancient Mesoamericans; the Aztecs even had a god, Tezcatlipoca, who was the Lord of the Smoking Obsidian Mirror. The shockingly sharp edges and points of this piece demonstrate its 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 in Guatemala, traded hundreds of miles to meet the demand for sharp cutting tools and ritual objects, and then were struck using a deer antler or small hammer stone 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.
Provenance: private Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA collection; ex-Minerva Gallery; ex-Benjamin Vega, California, USA, acquired in 2006 to 2007; ex-Gene and Virginia George, brought to the USA from 1961 to 1966
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.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany. For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.
Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.
Minor nicks to both faces not commensurate with age or knapping process, otherwise intact and excellent. Wonderful stone coloration and luster throughout.