Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Greater Antilles, 800-1500 AD
Hard stone (basalt)
Length : 20 cm
Provenance : Collected by Carl Leopold Krug in Arecibo between 1857-1876
Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Everett Rassiga, New York (acquired from the above by exchange)
Emily and Paul Wingert, Montclair (acquired in 1965, October 15)
Estate of Emily A. Wingert, New Jersey
Thirty-fourth annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology,
1912-1913, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, plate 102 B.
Carl Wilhelm Leopold Krug (1833-1898) was a German businessman, naturalist, ethnographer, diplomat, and a keen supporter of scientific collections.
After a short apprenticeship in Bremen, Krug arrived in Puerto Rico in 1857 and started work in the international trading company of Lahmayer & Co. in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He became partner, and later sole owner of the company. He became as well vice-consul in Mayaguez of both Germany and Great Britain.
Under the influence of his legal advisor Don Domingo Bello y Espinoza, Krug became an avid collector of plants and insects. He underwrote several collecting expeditions by the zoologist
Juan Gundlach. These collecting activities resulted in a large amount of scientific material, which became part of the Zoological and Ethnographic Museum in Berlin when Krug retired, in 1876. This very fine three-point zemi carved in a dense basalt, was first described in 1912 by famous scholar Jesse Walter Fewkes in his anthological study “A prehistoric Island Culture Area of America” published in the thirty-fourth annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology by the Smithsonian Institution. Page 212, the author notes : “The body si very long as compared with its height, and the apex of the conical projection does not bend forward. The head suggests a human being, its fillet being without engraved decoration. The ears are indicated by incised circles and triangles.” Finally, one has to mention the beautifully polished original surface and the exceptional
state of conservation of this stone, remarkably rare for an object with an historical provenance that goes back to the midnineteenth century.
Price on request