63
63

PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Maya Obsidian Eccentric Flint of a Serpent
Late Classic, Circa 550 - 950 AD
Estimate
25,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 35,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
63

PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Maya Obsidian Eccentric Flint of a Serpent
Late Classic, Circa 550 - 950 AD
Estimate
25,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 35,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York

Maya Obsidian Eccentric Flint of a Serpent
Late Classic, Circa 550 - 950 AD

Provenance

André Emmerich, New York
European Private Collection, acquired from the above on October 22, 1966

Catalogue Note

'...eccentrics were items of ritual and political theater.'

(Clark, Nelson, & Titmus, in Pillsbury et al., eds., Ancient Maya Art, 2012, p. 280)

Eccentric flints were highly prized ritual objects, usually made in specific numbers of sets as dedicatory offerings for sacred building and monuments. The Maya believed obsidian and flint were the incarnation of lightening as it struck the ground, the raw material was thus imbued with sacred power fit for the intricate workmanship of percussion flaking to create abstract and figural forms. Obsidian was procured only from the volcanic regions and thus a valued trade item.

The brilliant shine of obsidian was an ideal material representing the flash of lightening as the shimmering skin of a snake, a creature habituating above ground and below. The Vision Serpent represented the vehicle for the Maya to connect to the gods and their mythological past. See Miller & Martin Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya, pls. 79-82, for anthropomorphic eccentrics in chert; and Schmidt, de la Garza, & Nalda, Maya, 1998, cat. nos. 354 & 355 for obsidian examples.

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

|
New York