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Maskette Pendant
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Maskette Pendant


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The Olmecs were among the world's finest carvers of jadeite, a very hard stone that they worked without the advantage of metal tools. The remarkable thinness of this tiny mask emphasizes the stunning translucency of the blue-green mineral. Worn as body adornment, the pendant renders the typical Olmec-style face with wide, flat nose and down-turned mouth recalling a jaguar's snarl. This combination of human and animal features is an Olmec artistic convention for depicting supernatural beings. As the portrayal of a spirit being or god, the pendant would imply the wearer's connection to the supernatural. The high quality of the jadeite and its exceptionally fine carving indicate the wearer's high status.
Exhibitions
  • Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection Gift. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2012-2013.
Provenance Throckmorton Fine Art, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John G. Bourne, 1990s, by purchase; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 2017.
Credit Bequest of John G. Bourne, 2017

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Creator
Period
n.d.
Medium
jadeite
(Stone)
Accession Number
2009.20.231
Measurements
H: 7/8 x W: 13/16 x D: 3/16 in. (2.2 x 2 x 0.5 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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