LITTLE ANTHROPOMORPHIC MASK Olmec culture,...

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LITTLE ANTHROPOMORPHIC MASK Olmec culture,...

LITTLE ANTHROPOMORPHIC MASK Olmec culture, Mexico Middle
Pre-Classical, 900-400 B.C.
Green serpentine with white-beige surface
H. 10,9 cm - W. 8,5 cm
Olmec maskette, green serpentine with white-beige surface,
Mexico, H. 4 1/4 in - W. 3 1/4 in
Provenance: Private American
Collection
Acquired by the current owner in 2004
Galerie Lin et Émile Deletaille, Brussels, late 1990s
Private Collection, Miami, 1980s
Small Olmec mask with strong, fleshy features: drooping eyes, hooked nose, mouth with the corners of the mouth pointing downwards and a pointed chin with a rounded outline.
The motifs of the "Lord with double scroll" are incised on the right cheek and on the right side of the forehead.
The back of the mask is hollowed out with two suspension holes in the upper part.
This mask represents the portrait of a leader who has been identified by David Joralemon as the "Lord of the Double Scroll" (Joralemon, 1996).
The king is thus distinguished by a particularly high cranial deformity and extremely drooping almond-shaped eyes. There are also incised patterns on the face. This is an unusual combination in Olmec art.
This could represent the lord's name or his dynastic or family affiliations. There are a number of Olmec masks dating from the Middle Pre-Classical that seem to represent this same character.
The two perforations on the top of the mask, as well as the one under the chin, suggest that this object was part of the assembly of a headdress or that the mask was attached to a ceremonial staff.
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