Guanacaste-Nicoya Jade Figure-Celt Pendant - PF.2320
Origin: Western Mexico
Circa: 1 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 8.375" (21.3cm) high
Catalogue: V8
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Guancaste-Nicoya
Medium: Jade


Axe forms are integral component of virtually every culture. However, jade figure-celt pendants such as this stunning example are distinct for many reasons. Jade is a very rare and unique gemstone. Found in only half a dozen parts of the world, it is an extremely hard stone and, because of its structure, the toughest and most durable of stones. It cannot be worked by flaking and chipping procedures that are effective on flint and other quartz minerals, so its superiority could only become evident at the Neolithic level of technology, when stone cold be worked by abrasion. The early Costa Rican artisans' exquisite craftsmanship in jade is tied to that of the ancient Olmec, both in technology and style. However, the Costa Rican artists developed their own distinct characteristics as evidenced in this spirited jade figure-celt. Perforated horizontally, this symbolic figure was worn around the neck, imbuing the wearer with an energetic power. Skillful carving has produced a stunning axe handle in the shape of a human figure in a formal pose, hands positioned across his chest. A mask-like face and carved headdress reveal the figure's intrinsic power. The outline of the figure is in perfect balance and proportion with the smooth line of the axe blade. Polished to a high sheen, light reflecting off its tactile surface, this figure-celt pendant continues to emanate the spirited energy that the Ancient Costa Ricans revered. - (PF.2320)



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