Property from a Private Collection, California
VERACRUZ STONE HEAD HACHA LATE CLASSIC, CIRCA AD 550 - 950
Height: 10 in (25.4 cm)
Overall very good condition. Appears intact with minor scraping to the surface patina on the tenon and back of the head, primarily on the proper right side.
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
Stylized skeletal heads were one of the main genres of stone hachas from Veracruz and the Southern Highlands. Skulls were emblems of power and prestige given the intensity and outcome of the ballgame. This extremely slender section was carved with exposed jaw and teeth, with the fleshless nose curving into the thick ribbon-like cheekbone and brow. The deeply recessed ear, eye and back of the jaw has been abraded into a roughened texture.
See Shook and Marquis, Secrets in Stone, Yokes, Hachas and Palmas from Southern Mesoamerica, Philadelphia, 1996, pp. 176-181 for Southern Highland examples.