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PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Olmec Jade Figure with Incised Celt
Middle Preclassic, Circa 900 - 600 BC
Estimate
25,00035,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
65

PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Olmec Jade Figure with Incised Celt
Middle Preclassic, Circa 900 - 600 BC
Estimate
25,00035,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York

Olmec Jade Figure with Incised Celt
Middle Preclassic, Circa 900 - 600 BC

Provenance

Everett Rassiga, New York
European Private Collection, acquired from the above in 1973

Catalogue Note

Jade figures, and their accompanying celts, were prized portable objects in Olmec culture. This figure stands in a stoic meditative state with his hands wrapped around the rectangular celt (baton or scepter) held close to the body in the standardized right hand over left position. The head shows a helmet-like style with the thick headband securing the long striated coiffure down the back. His face has large fleshy lips reminiscent of the helmeted heads of the massive Olmec portrait basalt boulders.

Celts and scepters were highly important and symbolic implements for high status individuals, representing not only an implement of agricultural production, but also were a symbol of the life-giving maize ear itself. For a similar figure see Sotheby's, New York, November 20, 1989, lot 143; see also Coe, ed., The Olmec World, 1996, p. 245, pl. 145.

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York