Apolonia Ancient Art offers ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian works of art Apolonia Ancient Art

Veracruz Mayan Stone Hacha with Serpent Warrior: Ex Sothebys

Veracruz Mayan Stone Hacha with Serpent Warrior: Ex Sothebys


browse these categories for related items...
Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1307715
Apolonia Ancient Art
View Seller Profile
290 Fillmore St. #D
Denver, CO. 80206
303-321-7351 gallery

Guest Book
 $6,875.00 
$6,875.00

This attractive piece is a Mayan stone hacha that dates to the Late Classic Period, circa 550-950 A.D. This piece is approximately 6.7 inches high, and is intact with no repair/restoration. This piece is a serpent head with opened jaws that enclose a human head adorned with disk earspools, and each has sunken oval eyes. The serpent head has a crenelated upper lip, and the entire composition of this piece resembles an individual, more likely a warrior, who is seen wearing a hooded costume in the form of a serpent head. Another interpretation of this piece is that this piece represents a Mayan "Vision Serpent", with a warrior brought forth from the mouth of the serpent. This warrior also refers to a Mayan warrior cult that was linked to the evening star (Venus). This cult was also tied to the accession rites of the king, and a large component of these accession rites included the king's wife who underwent a bloodletting ritual so that she could communicate with this warrior, who may have been a dead ancestor, and/or a symbol of the king's role as warrior in this cult. The Mayan name of this "Serpent Warrior" is unknown, but the purpose of the bloodletting rite was to cause the "Vision Serpent" to materialize, along with the emerging "Serpent Warrior". This piece is in the form of a hacha, and may have been inserted into a ceremonial yoke, as this piece has a tenon designed behind the head of the serpent. The Mayan stone yoke and hacha pieces were all associated with the Mayan ballgame, and the piece offered here may also have been used in playing the game as well, as it is a slightly smaller example than what is normally seen. This appealing piece is made from a tan gray basalt, and has traces of red cinnabar. There are also spotty minute black mineral deposits, along with some minute root marking. This piece is a scarce to rare example, as there are very few Mayan stone works of art with the "Serpent Warrior" depicted, in addition to what is seen relative to recorded ceramic examples. This piece also sits on a custom metal stand. This piece was offered in Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, Nov. 1997, no. 369. ($2,500.00-$3,500.00 estimates, $5,060.00 realized.) Ex: Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, Nov. 1997, no. 369. Ex: Ron Messick Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, circa 1990's. Ex: Private CA. collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: