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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.
  • 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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Accession Number
H: 7/8 x W: 13/16 x D: 3/16 in. (2.2 x 2 x 0.5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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