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Rare & Powerful Costa Rican Jade Avian Votive Pendant

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Directory: Hidden: Viewable: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1027901
Apolonia Ancient Art
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290 Fillmore St. #D
Denver, CO. 80206
303-321-7351 gallery

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This interesting piece is a carved jade pendant that is from the Costa Rican region, and dates circa 300 B.C.-500 A.D. This piece is approximately 1.5 inches high, and is part of a complete "axe-god" pendant. This piece likely formed a complete piece that was approximately 4.25 to 4.5 inches high, and may have been string cut into three near equal sections. This beautiful dark green jade piece is the upper section of a complete pendant, and is in the form of an avian head. The dark green color is even throughout the entire piece, and is from a high quality section of the stone from which it was cut. This detailed jade head has superb workmanship, and has bow drilled eyes, wing design cuts seen on each side, and a bow drilled hole through the side which the wearer was able to use in order to suspend this piece as a pendant. This piece was worn by the elite as a "power" type piece, and appears to represent either parrots or owls as emphasized by the tufts as seen at the top of the head. This piece is analogous to two examples that are seen in "Precolumbian Art of Costa Rica", Detroit Institute of Art, Abrams Pub., 1981, no.24 and 26. (See attached photos.) This piece also has an unpolished "septum" that is seen at the back of this piece, and was a result of string cutting a stone into three seperate pieces in order to produce three pendants. (For this manufacturing process see, "Precolumbian Jade" by Frederick W. Lange, University of Utah Press, 1993, pp.270-274.) This piece also has some spotty light brown surface deposits that are seen in several low relief points of the piece. This piece is rare, as it was a segment from a complete "ax-god", and this complete and sacred "ax-god" was likely cut into three segments so that each piece could have been given to family members of the prior owner. The piece offered here, subsequently became a votive grave offering, and the "power" of this piece passed from one generation to another. This type of segmented votive piece was also known to have occurred with the Olmec, as evidenced by Olmec hard stone pieces that are published in "The Olmec World, Ritual and Rulership", Princeton University, Abrams Inc. Pub., 1995, nos. 158 and 159. (The pieces illustrated are both jade masks that were string cut and/or broken into a section, and was then reworked and repolished. It is unknown whether these masks were broken accidentally or for a ritual purpose, but what is known, these pieces were valued as they were reworked and repolished. See attached photos.) The rare votive piece offered here was also reworked and repolished afer it was cut at the bottom, and this type of votive piece is seldom seen in the market, or in private/public collections. This piece is a superb example of Costa Rican jade. This piece is mounted on a custom stand and can easily be removed. This piece can also be easily worn on a cord as well. Ex: Private Mass. collection. Ex: Skinner: American Indian and Ethnographic Art Auction, May 15, 2010. Ex: Arte Xibalba, Osprey, Fl. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: