Pre-Columbian, Maya Territories, ca. 7th to 9th century CE. A gorgeous matching pair of jadeite ear spools with an unusual design featuring four equidistant hemispheric cuts from the outer peripheries of the otherwise rounded form, concave walls leading to a cylindrical hollow plug that is pierced through in two places. The jadeite itself is inherently beautiful, presenting rich spring green hues with white and warm beige inclusions and marvelous areas of translucency. Jade ear spools are a symbol of Maya royalty. Jade was revered by the Maya not only for its beauty, but also because it had spiritual power as it was believed to be the embodiment of the wind and the "breath" that formed the Maya soul. Ear spools are often shown in profile in Mayan art, usually with a bead or serpent emerging from that central hollow plug; this is interpreted to be a symbolic supernatural passageway for the breath of the soul to travel through. Size: 2.25" W x 2.125" H (5.7 cm x 5.4 cm); 2.5" H (6.4 cm) on included custom stand. Size: 2.375" diameter x .8" H (6 cm x 2 cm); 2.75" H (7 cm) on included custom stand.
These earspools may have been an heirloom, as the Maya associated jade and the earspool form with the older cultures before them, specifically the Olmec. Scholars believe that jade ear spools were passed down through families for centuries, and perhaps provided a means of connecting with ancestors.
Provenance: ex-private San Diego, California, USA collection, acquired at Arte Primitivo, New York, New York, USA
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One earspool has an area of restoration surrounding one of the cutouts. A few nicks to peripheries of both as shown. Otherwise excellent and presenting beautiful areas of translucency when held to the light.