Teotihuacan, Classical period, Mexico, 450-650 AD
Height : 15 cm
Provenance : Private collection, USA
Publication : "Masken"
(M. Doustar, 2015), n°47
Teotihuacan was a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican city located in a sub valley of the Valley of Mexico, located in the State of Mexico 30 miles (48 km) northeast of modern-day Mexico City. It is known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the Pre-Columbian Americas. The city is thought to have been established around 100 BC, with major monuments continuously under construction until about 250 AD. The city may have lasted until some time between the 7th and 8th centuries AD, but its major monuments were sacked and systematically burned around 550 AD. The term Teotihuacan is also used for the whole civilization and cultural complex associated with the site.
The masks that have been excavated at Teotihuacan were mostly found in ritual deposits in corridors and administrative structures along the sacred avenues, such as the famous Avenue of the Dead, supporting the theory that stone masks were ceremonial rather than funerary items.
This beautiful and classical example was carved with a great sense of balance and harmony. The details of the face, such as the eyes contour, the nasal bone, nostrils and wings, the lips and the philtrum, slightly hollowed, were rendered with sensibility and realism. The overall face is subtly modeled to follow the relief of the cranium and the curves of the fresh. Holes were drilled in the eyes, mouth and ears, with traces of old limestone found into them. The eyes and mouth were probably once inlaid with shell, obsidian and/or iron pyrites. Earspools, made of perishable material, may have been originally set in the pierced ears. The temples were pierced as well, but for attachment on a larger structure.
Price on request