Property from a California Private Collection
LARGE MEZCALA STONE FIGURE LATE PRECLASSIC, CIRCA 300-100 B.C.
Height: 14 ¼ in (36.2 cm)
Condition overall excellent, intact, the back of the figure of slightly irregular form, good remains of incrustation between the legs and at the back of the shoulders.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Acquired by the grandfather of the current owner in the 1960s
Thence by family descent
Carlo Gay dedicated forty years of his life to creating a stylistic taxonomy of Mezcala figures. The present example, notable for its large size, exhibits some qualities present in the M-16 figures such as its arms hugging the sides of the body and others more akin to the M-12 type, such as the treatment of the eyebrows in relief (see Gay and Pratt, Mezcala, Ancient Stone Sculpture from Guerrero, Mexico, Geneva, 1992, pp. 58-64, 72-76). While Gay was able to create a comprehensive system for discussing the formal qualities of Mezcala figurative sculpture, he was less concrete in assigning precise meaning to their function: “It is unlikely that [the figures] were created quixotically, and safer to assume they had some esoteric significance based in magic or religious principles. Probably, they are all inherently symbolic, conveying complex messages about beliefs of the living, and hopes of the dead.” (ibid., p. 21).