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    Chontal Transformational Mask Pendant

    Chontal/ Mezcala
    C. 400 BC
    Dense Green Stone
    5¼" Tall x 4¼" Wide

    The unusual mask is ground, carved, and drilled of a smooth dense green stone that holds a strong surface polish. The image shows a human transforming into a jaguar, the process not yet complete. The rectangular carving has rounded jaguar ears on the top of the head, a relief human nose that is beginning to turn up, and a wide open mouth with notches for teeth. The eyes are tall circular goggles. On the rear, the pendant has a delicate convex recess. The mask would have served a shaman and blatantly depicts its ritualistic use as a grinding stone for the hallucinogenic induced ceremonies. The mask sits very stabilized when resting upon the nose and two eyes, which transform the mask into a three legged miniature metate; the jaguar ears recess just enough so they are unnecessary as supports. The Olmec culture created easily transportable masks and 'spoons' for the purpose of preparing the hallucinogens, often depicting the transformation into a were-jaguar personification. This mask is crafted with similar iconography yet rendered in the style of Guerrero stone carvings. The two rows of teeth have expertly matched restoration to much of the area, otherwise, the mask is intact with a strong surface.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,277

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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