Pre-Columbian, Mayan territories, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A striking pendant, finely carved from a beautiful piece of bright green stone with white inclusions, in the form of a frontal-facing head or maskette with a broad face and a huge, elaborate headdress that borders three sides. Bilaterally perforated at the temples for suspension. Size: 2.1" W x 1.4" H (5.3 cm x 3.6 cm)
Just as green jade was reserved for elite Chinese emperors, in the Pre-Columbian world precious articles made from jade were reserved for royalty. Though post-dating the Maya, a legendary story about the Aztec leader Moctezuma illustrates just how valuable jade was to the ancients of the Americas. Moctezuma gave the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes four jade beads as tribute, noting that each bead was worth two loads of gold. The Spanish conquistador, however, only longed for gold, and dismissed the jade treasures as nothing more than lackluster green rocks. Moctezuma was amused by this foolish preference of the Spaniard.
Provenance: private Los Angeles County, California, USA collection
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 and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
One side of the hole for suspension is chipped, but still functional. Light encrustation in lower profile areas.