Ritual objects in carved stone by Pre-Columbian cultures are by far, rarer and more desirable than much more plentiful ceramic objects. Among ancient stone objects, the rarest pieces are large yet, portable works. This is an example of one of those pieces and very few opportunities come by in life where one can purchase such a magnificent specimen.
THE MOST PRIZED OF ALL PRE-COLUMBIAN OBJECTS, BAR NONE! IMMEASURABLY RARE AND TRUE INVESTMENT PIECE!
Of all the possible ancient relics of any Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture, stone masks are the "crown jewels" of this chapter in Man's history in this part of the world. No other object in this period and place of history can lay claim to the insatiable collector demand of ritual stone masks. For the last several decades, established auction houses around the world have shown incredible realized prices in Pre-Columbian stone masks of Central America - prices that no other Pre-Columbian object can even come close to in comparison. One can review recent auction results of Sotheby's and Christies and see prices well into the SIX FIGURES with some masks fetching prices near a half a million dollars. With an established track record in market appreciation all through the boom and bust of global economies, one can see that the investment potential of these rare antiquities are potentially limitless. They are no less equal to any other form of the most coveted genres of ancient art.
In the respective cultures of Pre-Columbian Central America, stone masks represented the highest level of wealth, treasure and status. Most could fit in the palm of your hand and were ritualistic in nature, not actually functional. Lesser numbers were made in life-size and this offering is one of those supremely rare examples measuring nearly TWICE the proportions of typical specimens!
With its enormous proportion, this AUTHENTIC Pre-Columbian stone mask exhibits traits of Chontal Guerrero tradition. It was carved of a rich emerald green serpentine stone, made so large that the natural outer surface of the host rock had to be incorporated into the mask. What looks like damage is actually the original eroded surface of the stone that existed in nature, BEFORE any carving was done to the source stone block. All anatomical features are intact with typical holes on the sides, nostrils and high relief to the facial features. The mouth and eyes are classic for this culture. The polish to the stone is well preserved and remarkably, the mask survived INTACT, UNBROKEN and has NO REPAIR, NO RECONSTRUCTION and NO FABRICATION. The majority of Pre-Columbian stone masks from Central America are much smaller than this example and those are the ones that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those masks need a much smaller stone to carve them from so removing all the natural craggy faces of the host rock is not a problem to achieve a completely smooth unblemished mask. Since this mask is so massive, it required a stone so large that avoiding these natural rock faces was impossible in keeping with the desire to not waste precious stone and to achieve a monumentally-proportioned example as this. Ex-Splendors of the World Gallery - Los Angeles, CA, USA.
A true MUSEUM-CLASS example of Pre-Columbian ritual, rulers and nobles were often buried with masks this size, placed over the face of the deceased to bring everlasting power in the afterlife. A piece like this is the true "Holy Grail" acquisition and objects like this define prestigious collections, separating them from the mundane! Amazingly, this specimen has survived UNBROKEN AND INTACT all through antiquity until today.
If you know the Pre-Columbian art market, you will need no convincing of just how rare this object is. Very few of these have ever come up for sale and most have not survived intact as this specimen is. With impacted sediment and mineral patina deep in microscopic crevices - traits ONLY seen in 100% ORIGINAL AUTHENTIC SPECIMENS. An extraordinarily rare specimen of Pre-Columbian ritual objects. Includes our written unconditional lifetime certificate of GUARANTEED AUTHENTICITY.
The Pre-Columbian Mezcala Culture is a little understood culture that was based in present-day Guerrero, Mexico. A long, complex culture history of the Guerrero region prevents a finite understanding of who exactly made Mezcala objects. The culture is also called Balsas Culture because it is centered in the upper Balsas River drainage region. It is believed the Mezcala style emerged during the Pre-classic Period, between 700-200 B.C. and continued on into Classic Period to 650 A.D..
Objects attributed to the the Mezcala Culture include figurines, masks, small effigies of animals and objects, beads, pendants and earplug flares. They are carved from a variety of green, gray-green, gray and black color hardstones and jade. The art style is so unique that Mezcala objects are readily recognized for their abstract and minimalist anatomical features. Some Mezcala style stone objects show strong Olmec influence. Beautiful stylized masks from Guerrero exhibit Teotihuacan Classic Period influence. Mezcala style objects were excavated by the much later Aztec peoples and revered as sacred objects.
Mezcala style stone carved figurines have a basic petaloid axe form and are sometimes casually labeled "axe gods". Symmetrically arranged cuts in the stone are arranged to resemble facial and body features. Scarcer objects depict human forms in seated or crouching positions. Carved stone masks are found in more diverse forms from abstract to beautifully stylized renderings. Clay figures and pottery are also known but the culture is most famous for its unique carved stone objects.
WARNING: There is an ALARMING number of fake ancient artifacts on the market. As fine quality intact, original specimens become more scarce and techniques have become more sophisticated to fake these artifacts. We have personally handled numerous extremely well-done fakes with extremely convincing patinas. The degree to which the fakers have been able to replicate patina to disguise their work requires an expert examination by highly experienced individuals. Like all rare collectibles, fakes plague the market. Deal only with sources that are extremely knowledgeable in forgeries or altered pieces and get a written guarantee of authenticity that has no conditions or expiration period. Paleo Direct includes this guarantee in writing with every item we sell. All purchases should include from the dealer a written guarantee of authenticity with unconditional and lifetime return policies regarding such guarantee.