Lot 134
  • 134

Teotihuacan Stone Standing Figure Guerrero Region, Late Preclassic/Early Classic, circa AD 200-400

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • stone
  • Height: 13 3/8 in (34 cm)


William Spratling (1900-1967), Taxco el Viejo
Private Collection, Paris
Etude Gros-Delettrez, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 27, 1983, lot 351, consigned by the above
Galerie Arts des Ameriques, Paris
Gérard Geiger, Lausanne, acquired from the above
Binoche, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Collection Gérard Geiger. Art précolombien, March 14-15, 2005, lot 23
Private Collection, acquired at the above auction


Museo de Ciencias y Arte, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Escultura Precolombino de Guerrero, 1964
Musée-Galerie de la Seita, Paris, Figures de pierre. L'art du Guerrero dans le Mexique précolombien, October 2 - 21, 1992
Musée Rath, Geneva, Mexique, terre des dieux. trésors de l'art précolombien, October 8, 1998 - January 24, 1999


Daniel F. Rubín de la Borbolla and William Spratling, Escultura Precolombino de Guerrero, Mexico City, 1964, pl. 73
Musée-Galerie de la Seita, ed., Figures de pierre. L'art du Guerrero dans le Mexique précolombien, Paris, 1992, p. 68, no. 86
Musée Rath, ed., Mexique, terre des dieux. trésors de l'art précolombien, Geneva, 1998, p. 128, no. 130
Carlo Gay and Robin Gay, Chontal: Ancient Stone Sculpture from Guerrero, Mexico, Geneva, 2001, p. 99, pl. 150
Henri Stierlin, et. al., Au cœur de l'Amérique précolombienne. collection Gérard Geiger/At the Heart of Precolumbian America: The Gérard Geiger Collection, Milan, 2003, p. 89, no. 32

Catalogue Note

The stoic and confident figure embodies the transition from the abstract style of the stone figures from the Guerrero region, as adopted and evolved to the rigorous and symmetrical form of the early Teotihuacan sculpture.  

Located in the central Mexican Highlands, Teotihuacan was established by the 2nd century AD and became one of the largest cities in the world by the 6th century. It was the most important city in ancient Mesoamerica at the time, extending its influence and power into the contemporaneous Maya world to the south.  The Aztecs revered the ancient monuments of Teotihuacan as the 'place of the gods' and took stone masks and figures from there, to their own sacred center at Tenochtitlan.

The city of Teotihuacan was built on the natural alignment of the sacred mountains and caves in the area, further organized by the manmade grid that imposed uniformity along a directional axis. This designing principle applied to the stone art of the idealized masks, and symmetrical and formal figures such as this sculpture. The figure has strong vertical and horizontal planes, with narrow openings at the arms reminiscent of specific Mezcala figures from Guerrero. The strong pectoral muscles are finely sculpted and the broad face has large oval eyes and full lips slightly opened, indicating a lifelike but resolute demeanor.  He wears a headband with a crest as the sole permanent addition of clothing of rank. It is made from a large piece lustrous dark green veined serpentine, one of valued greenstones of the era.

The figure was part of the collection of William Spratling, an avid early collector of Pre-Columbian art, who documented various styles of stone figures and objects in the important 1964 publication, Escultura Precolombina de Guerrero.