Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Maya, Late Classic Period, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A lovely, rare, near-lifesize stucco head of a dignitary, portrayed here with a wide face with characteristically Maya features: a prominent nose and large forehead. The face also has large eyes under a shallow brow and broad lips with a pronounced overbite. One ear with a large spool earring with a central boss is still visible, as is a dramatic headdress with a central floral medallion. Deep red pigment is still visible on the headdress, while the face is painted a dark grey-blue with black outlines around the eyes. Size: 5.75" W x 9" H (14.6 cm x 22.9 cm); 13.2" H (33.5 cm) on included custom stand.
Modeled stucco was a great art form for the Maya. Artists worked to create stucco facades on building, which they would paint with bright, bold colors in order to make them visible from a distance. During earlier periods, these heads had mainly been of deities and royals, but by the Late Classic, artists began to depict more high ranking officials with naturalistic portrayals - such as, for example, the stucco head from Palenque at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private lifetime collection of Dr. Saul Tuttman and Dr. Gregory Siskind, New York, New York, USA, acquired before the 1980s and comes with a 1968 black and white photo
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The head is a fragment from a larger sculpture and has some losses, notably from one side, but the face itself is almost entirely preserved aside from one upper side. Back of the head is lost. Earring and lower ear have been repaired but this is well done and unobtrusive. Nice remaining pigment with wear commensurate with age as shown.