Pre-Columbian, Central America, Costa Rica, Guanacaste / Nicoya region, ca. 200 to 600 CE. An intricate pendant of an abstract crocodilian form, hand-carved from pistachio-hued jade stone with beige and emerald-green inclusions. The standing reptile has a portly abdomen above miniscule legs, a string-cut delineation constituting the neck, and an elongated head with perky ears, a bulbous nose, and a narrow mouth. A biconically-drilled suspension hole is bored through the neck and enables this fine example to be worn on any occasion! Size: 0.875" W x 1.5" H (2.2 cm x 3.8 cm).
The iconography on these pieces is especially symbolic. The Crocodilian order, comprised of crocodiles, smaller alligators, and yet smaller caymans (all treated similarly in Pre-Columbian mythology) was very meaningful to the ancients of the Americas. The crocodile being the oldest (approximately 55 million years old) was understood as a crocodilian earth monster and is oftentimes shown giving rise to what was known as the World Tree. Partial to a watery habitat, the crocodile is also a metaphor for fertility.
Provenance: ex-private West Palm Beach, Florida, USA collection; ex-private Worham collection
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Minor abrasions to obverse and reverse, and light encrustations within some recessed areas, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits within suspension hole. Nicely polished obverse surface.