Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    An Exquisite Olmec Standing Figure
    Mexico, c. 900-300 BC, Middle Pre-Classic Period

    Translucent blue-green jade with a high polish, residue of inlay material in the eyes. Standing figure with large oval shaped head with almond eyes, flattened nose and full lips. The head sits solidly on the sloping shoulders, which emphasizes the exaggerated size of the head. The shape of the head evinces the cranial deformation practiced by elites. The shoulders are rounded, the arms hang at the figure's side and the legs are spread apart. This small figure has exquisitely carved details: fine incisions mark the joints of the arms and legs, fingers, breasts, loincloth, buttocks, and toes. Conically drilled piercings at earlobes. In excellent condition. A dimple on the crown of the head with rough edges is original to the piece. Olmec lapidaries frequently left a small area on top of the head of stone human figures unfinished. These areas are usually dimple shaped and often reveal an unpolished section of the original stone used to carve the sculpture. With a metal stand.

    Olmec figures that were carved in translucent blue-green jade evince an astonishing beauty and some found their way as heirlooms into later Mesoamerican cultures.

    Private Collection, New York
    Acquired by the current collection in 2007
    A New York Art Gallery

    Height: 3 ¼ inches

    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
    July, 2021
    14th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,378

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Jul 14, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 May 17 Silver & Vertu Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    Your reply to my request for an auction appraisal was the most encouraging, comprehensive, and enthusiastic reply I got (and a got several).
    Robert M.,
    New Harbor, ME
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search