Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Maya, Late Classic Period, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A lovely necklace comprised of a large apple green jadeite pendant carved and string cut in the form of an anthropomorphic head - perhaps representing a lord or deity - flanked by a strand comprised of dozens of petite greenstone beads (presenting rounded and natural pebble type forms), 6 greenstone mini pendant beads resembling avian or zoomorphic heads, and 26 spherical gold beads (51% gold, equivalent to ~10K). A stunning necklace featuring a marvelous Maya jadeite pendant of apple green hues surrounded by a lovely strand of ancient greenstone beads set alternating with modern gold beads that complement the jade and greenstone beads beautifully! Size: 17.5" L (44.4 cm); face pendant measures .875" W x 1.5" H (2.2 cm x 3.8 cm). Modern gold beads contain 41% gold (~10K), 51% silver, 6% copper + trace elements.
The face depicted on the amulet is very expressive and presents bold features: large eyes that may be interpreted as open or closed, a pronounced nose, full lips, a square jawline, and a lobed headdress or coiffure. The value of jade for the ancients of the Americas stemmed from its symbolic power: some scholars believe that its color was associated with water and vegetation, and some have theorized that jade was also associated with death and the afterlife, as the Maya placed jade beads in the mouths of the deceased.
Provenance: ex-Arte Primitivo Gallery, New York, New York, USA
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Jadeite pendant and greenstone beads are ancient. Gold beads and clasp are modern. Strung in modern times. Minute nicks to neckline of pendant that may be inherent to the stone as they coincide with the veining. Some abrasions to high pointed areas of the pendant, but the form is still quite strong. Several of the jadeite beads show minute nicks and abrasions commensurate with age. Some indentations, fissures to gold beads.