Apolonia Ancient Art offers ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian works of art Apolonia Ancient Art
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1234381
Apolonia Ancient Art
This scarce piece is an extremely large Mayan green jadeite tube that dates circa 600-900 A.D. This solid piece is approximately 8.5 inches long by 1.4 inches in diameter, and has a beautiful dark to light green color. The beautiful stone seen here is likely jadeite, rather than serpentine, as it is extremely dense. This interesting piece has a bow-drilled hole at each end which connect near the center, and the bow-drilled holes are approximately .5 to .6 inches in diameter which also slightly narrow within the tube. There is also a layer of gray calcite deposits seen on the inner surfaces, and a light mineralized patina on the outer surfaces as well. This piece is also not perfectly round, has a somewhat rectangular shape, and has a great deal of eye appeal. There is a very strong possibility that this scarce piece was used in Mayan smoking ceremonies, and/or may have been used in Mayan regalia and served as a decorative item in a headdress, a necklace, or a sacred ceremonial object. This piece is also somewhat heavy, as it is likely a dense green jadeite which was sacred to the Maya. According to Francis Robicsek, in "The Smoking Gods", University of Oklahoma Press, 1978, p. 73, Robicsek elaborates on the forehead tube that was used to identify God K: "Forehead tube thought to represent a cigar. This is a fairly constant trademark of this deity. The identification of God K of any portrait lacking the forehead tube is suspect. It is nearly always present on ceramic representations and on stone carvings, but is usually absent from paintings in the codices. The object may be tubular or funnel-shaped, or it may resemble a celt. Sometimes it is undecorated, but more often it is striated, dotted, or marked with oval symbols. It also varies greatly in size and, if painted, in color. As a rule the tube emerges from the forehead; however, in two paintings, both of them on Peten ceramics, it protrudes from the mouth. On most portrayals the handle of the tube is sunk into the head and it is not visible; on others it emerges at the nape. As discussed earlier, these tubes probably represent cigars, but the possibility that they may represent torches or celts cannot be excluded." In addition, the piece offered here may also have been used by the Maya relative to the relationship of the royal elite to God K, and may have been used by the Maya as noted above in some capacity as a decorative element and/or used relative to the smoking culture of the ancient Maya. This piece also sits on a custom display stand. Ex: Private CA. collection, circa 1980's. Ex: Private Arizona collection. Ex: Private CO. collection. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1169806
Apolonia Ancient Art
This large piece is a "Veracruz" culture standing priest, Remojadas type, that dates from the Classic period, circa 450-650 A.D. This piece is approximately 22.5 inches high, and easily stands by itself on a custom wooden stand. This piece is of an artistic style, known as "Remojadas", which is the name of a particular archaeological site, although objects in closely related styles actually come from a number of different sites in Veracruz. The name "Remojadas" thus refers to objects from south-central Veracruz, generally from the Classic-period. This piece is also known as a "Xipe-Toltec" type priest, as he portrays the god in costume. The "Xipe-Toltec" cult flourished along the Gulf Coast of modern day Mexico during the Classic and early Postclassic periods before gaining a prominent place in the Aztec pantheon, probably as a result of the subsequent Aztec domination of the Gulf Coast in the mid-15th century. Most Xipe figures vividly depict a human inside a flayed skin of another man, and this god was known as "Our Lord the Flayed One". According to Charles Phillips in "Aztec and Maya", Lorenz Pub., London, 2007, p. 62: "Victims killed in honour of Xipe Totec, the god of planting and vegetation, were shot with arrows so that their blood flowed into the earth like life-giving waters. Indeed, the Aztecs called human blood "chalchiuatl" (precious water). The corpse was then flayed and a priest would wear the skin in honour of the god. The rite was a celebration of the splitting of seeds that makes possible the growth of new vegetation each spring." Mary Miller and Karl Taube in "Ancient Mexico and the Maya", Thames and Hudson Pub., London, 1993, p. 188 also add: "At the time of the Conquest the Xipe festival fell during the spring, in our month of March, and much of its imagery suggests agricultural renewal: as a seed germinates, it feeds off the rotting hull around it, finally letting the new shoot emerge. The Xipe impersonators wore the old skins until they were rotten, when the young man once again emerged." The Xipe-Toltec piece offered here displays a priest wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim, as seen with the rolled skin folds seen hanging below the neck, the skin leggings, the skin bundles tied at the back shoulder and the right hip, and the human skin mask. There are black-bitumen painted highlights seen on the headband with medallions, earplugs, lips, and eyes. There are also black-bitumen painted extruded eyeballs that are seen hanging from the eye openings, and the black lips accentuate an open mouth that shows this dramatic figurine chanting in a ritual posture. This expressive figure is also holding a floral designed fan with petals, which may represent the Xipe ritual of regeneration. This piece is made from a light gray terracotta, and has light tan mineral deposits. This complete piece was repaired from several large fragments, which is usually the case for large-scale Veracruz pieces such as this, and this piece is a better example than what is usually seen. The floral fan is an attribute that is seldom seen as well, and this is a principle reason why this large example is a scarce to rare type. The floral fan also indicates that the individual depicted is likely in the act of performing the "Xipe-Toltec" regeneration ceremony, along with the fact that this priest is seen with an open mouth who appears to be chanting in the act of the regeneration ceremony which ensured the planting and growth of the new years crops. The majority of these figurines are seen simply standing in an upright position, and are not seen holding any implements of any sort, but more importantly, the majority of these Veracruz "Xipe-Toltec" figurines do not display a dramatic facial expression such as this example. (Another Veracruz "Remojadas" example of this type and of the same size is offered in Bonhams African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian Art, New York, Nov. 2012, no. 3. $8,000.00-$12,000.00 estimates, $10,000.00 realized.) For the type offered here see: "Ancient Art of Veracruz", Ethnic Arts Council of Los Angeles, 1971, no. 31. The piece offered here is definitely ceremonial in nature, and easily conveys this fact to the viewer, which is not often the case relative to figurines of this type. Ex: Private CA. collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Bonhams Art & Artifacts of the Americas auction, San Francisco, Sept. 2012, no. 1039. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: