Large Pre-Columbian Olmecoid Figure w/ Display Stand
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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1063399
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A large Pre-Columbian Olmecoid figure mounted on a custom display stand, circa 1000 B.C. - 600 B.C., from the ancient region of Chalchuapa, El Salvador. This example measures impressively at over 9" tall by about 4" wide (figure alone, unmounted), and about 10 1/2" tall mounted on the custom display stand (included).
This female figure is shown with a very pleasant facial expression, with hands resting on her gently bulging abdomen, which likely suggests she is pregnant. As such, this figure may have been related to/used in fertility ceremonies or rites of passage into womanhood. She is shown wearing ear spools, a large necklace, bracelets, and a very ornate wrap around her waist and thighs. Interestingly, her skirt shows a wide variety of perforations, incised lines and punctuation arranged in complex patterns which was an effort on the part of the ancient artisan to show complex fabric/textile patterns of their time- this is fascinating and important to the study of ancient fabric/textile design. She also exhibits a very ornate short hairstyle, that is very detailed all around, even from the back view.
Condition: This example is intact overall, except for having a relatively clean break reglued with minor fill in the breaklines across the chest and upper arms. This type of clean break pattern often suggests ritual/ceremonial use, involving intentionally breaking the item- perhaps related to ceremonies for fertility or female rites of passage. There is ancient loss to both feet and one small section on the front of her hairstyle. Otherwise, expected abrasions, weathering, wear, and minor loss overall for a piece of this age. Sediment and mineral deposits remain, indicative of the age and authenticity of this item.
Provenance: Former private Florida, USA collection.