Illustration principale
Bird - Celt Pendant
Guanacaste-Nicoya, Costa Rica, 100-500 AD

Serpentine
Height : 17,5 cm


Provenance : Private collection, Brussels

Publication : "KunstKammer"
(M. Doustar, 2017), n°93
One of the most typical forms of Precolumbian lapidary work from Costa Rica is the so-called "axe-god" in which an animal, human, or composite effigy surmounts celt-like polished blade, drilled for suspension. Functional polished celts were forest-cleaning tools, usually associated with agricultural, sedentary societies. Their representation in an obviously symbolic, high-status object suggests that their owners may have been influential in decisions involving land use or redistribution of foodstuffs. Such effigies were probably important in rituals, and they may have been clan symbols as well.
Among the avimorph axe-god pendants is a style defined by crisp, angular carving that look almost machine-tooled. This stylized geometricity is seen only in pieces from Guanacaste-Nicoya. The bird portrayed is usually the quetzal, topped with a tiered headless. The above pendant, carved in a beautiful piece of serpentine, is clearly a superlative example of this particular corpus.
Prix : 7.500 euros