Property from a Private Collection, California
MEZCALA STONE SEATED FIGURE LATE PRECLASSIC, CIRCA 300 - 100 BC
Height: 5 ⅜ in (13.7 cm)
In overall very good condition except for a small loss of the inside of the proper left foot. The surface with a nice even natural polish, with some natural pitting.
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 late 1960s
Thence by family descent
The seated figures of Mezcala and Chontal form a distinct category. They were adapted from river cobbles and never from the axe form seen in the standing figures. They appear in three general postures, including the type exhibited in the present example which displays an upward tilt of the head. As Gay notes "this particular position of the face turned upward cannot be accidental considering the relatively large number of examples. It was instead, probably meaningful within the context of man's relationship with the upper spheres, without necessarily meaning that the figures represented star gazers per se." (Gay and Pratt, Mezcala: Ancient Stone Sculpture from Guerrero, Mexico, Geneva, 1992, p. 107).
This figure is of the M-12 variant style; see Gay and Pratt, ibid., p. 114, pl. 103.