75
75

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Maya Shell Ornament of a Deity Head
Late Classic, Circa 550 - 950 AD
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75

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Maya Shell Ornament of a Deity Head
Late Classic, Circa 550 - 950 AD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

|
New York

Maya Shell Ornament of a Deity Head
Late Classic, Circa 550 - 950 AD

Provenance

Mr & Mrs Miles Lourie, New York, acquired prior to 1969
Merrin Gallery, New York
American Private Collection, acquired from the above in 1991

Exhibited

The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, Precolumbian Art in New York: Selections from Private Collections, September 12 - November 9, 1969
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Ancient American Art: an Aesthetic View, November 7 - December 20, 1981

Literature

Julie Jones, Precolumbian Art in New York: Selections from Private Collections, New York, 1969, fig. 102
Rose Art Museum, eds., Ancient American Art: an Aesthetic View, Boston, 1981, fig. 70

Catalogue Note

The elaborate clothing and headdresses of the Maya were heavily adorned with shell and stone ornaments. This fierce face is carved from a thick section of conch shell (Strombus gigas), allowing for the large, deeply drilled eyes and wide grinning mouth, which would have been inlaid with jade or colored shell for contrast. Each temple shows the stepped coiffure and the forehead is covered with a mask with small drilled eyes and a large mouth also for added inlay. The top of the head has a graduated crest of plumes or hair; it is perforated along the chin and drilled laterally at the top for attachment or suspension.

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

|
New York