A Costa Rican Jadeite Bird-Celt Pendant, Early Classic Period, ca. 100 - 600 CE
A Costa Rican Jadeite Bird-Celt Pendant, Early Classic Period, ca. 100 - 600 CE

A Costa Rican Jadeite Bird-Celt Pendant, Early Classic Period, ca. 100 - 600 CE

PJ2148

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Many bird-form pendants of Costa Rica feature a lower section shaped like a workaday celt or ax. The stone celt of teardrop shape was the common working tool in the ancient Americas, and in some instances the shape itself took on greater, perhaps even sacred, significance.

Finely carved in translucent blue-green jadeite, the lower part of this pendant is an example of how the celt shape was integrated into prized personal ornaments. At the top of the pendant, the bird aspects are stylized in a presentation known in greater detail from other jade pendants. Costa Rican bird pendants fall into given groups based on style and imagery, but individual differences also characterize and distinguish them one from the other.

Such pendants conveyed symbolic power to the wearer, and several lines of evidence suggest that these valued objects were passed down for generations and were traded widely as luxury goods.

cf: Clark, John E., and Michael Blake The Power of Prestige: Competitive Generosity and the Emergence of Rank Societies in Lowland Mesoamerica. In Factional Competition and Political Development in the New World, Elizabeth M. Brumfiel and John W. Fox, eds., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp: 17– 30. Coe, Michael D. The Jaguar’s Children: Pre-Classic Central Mexico. New York: Museum of Primitive Art, 1965. 

Medium: Jadeite

Dimensions: Height: 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm)

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall with no chips, cracks or breaks. A very fine example.

Provenance: Mirtha Virginia de Perea (1929 - 2019) private collection of Costa Rican art. Mrs. de Perea spent her entire 48-year career with the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC, achieving the rank of Cultural Minister-Counselor and Consul after having started as a secretary. She was a devoted patron of the arts, promoting numerous local artists and sponsoring many cultural events throughout her career. She also amassed an impressive collection of Latin American art. After retiring in 1999, she became a US citizen and continued her support of the arts through her membership in the Women’s Committee of the Washington National Opera and other local groups.

Sands of Time provides a lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and provenance. Every object you purchase from us is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, stating culture, provenance, and age.

Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution, or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.

We ship Tuesday to Friday with FedEx and usually same day if your order is received before 2pm. Within the continental USA, packing, shipping and insurance is free. Depending on size and destination, delivery times range from one to five business days.

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