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Attractive Votive Olmec Blue-Green Stone Celt/Ax

Attractive Votive Olmec Blue-Green Stone Celt/Ax


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Stone: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1261165
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 $1,675.00 
$1,675.00

This attractive piece is an Olmec stone celt/ax that dates circa 1200-550 B.C. This piece is approximately 6.4 inches high by 3.5 inches wide. This intact piece has beautiful dark-green, blue, and white colors, some dark brown mineral deposits seen in the low relief sections of the piece, and some minute spotty black mineral deposits that are seen on all of the outer surfaces. This trapezoidal shaped piece has a nice semi-sharp blade, seen at the top of the piece, and the bottom tip of the bottom base is unfinished, as this is the original outer edge of the stone from which this piece was formed. This piece also has an esoteric slight bend that runs through the length of the main body, and perhaps this was done to make this piece resemble an ear of corn that is seen peeling away from the central cob. The Olmec were also known to have this type of piece worn on a belt, and the wearer doubled as the Olmec "Maize God", who was meant to represent the central cob of a maize ear. According to Karl Taube in "Olmec Art at Dumbarton Oaks, Library of Congress Pub., 2004, p. 129: "But, for the Middle Formative Olmec, the key plant was maize, the ear of which, in its very form, resembles a green stone celt. With their broad, curving bits and narrow polls, the outlines of Olmec celts are so similar to Olmec representations of maize that it is frequently difficult to distinguish them. Moreover, much as maize seed is prepared on the stone metate, celts and other jade artifacts were surely ground and polished on flat stone surfaces. Through the process of grinding, both maize food and finished jade are created." This type of piece was valued by the Olmec for its beautiful color, as this piece was very labor extensive to produce, and this intensive grinding and polishing resulted in a highly glossy surface which still can be seen with this piece today. This type of piece was also traded widely by the Olmec, and may also have represented a set value of wealth. This attractive piece also comes with a custom black metal stand, and simply slides down into the stand. Ex: William Freeman estate, New Mexico, circa 1960's-1980's. Ex: Private AZ. collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: