A Costa Rican Jade Pendant Mask, ca. 300 - 500 CE, restrung on ruby necklace
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Jade was especially appreciated by Mesoamerican and Lower Central American people because of its green color. This stone was associated with water, and vegetation, especially young, maturing corn. For this reason, it was also related to life and death. Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Costa Rican elites particularly appreciated jade carvings and artifacts and commissioned elegant pieces from skillful artisans. Jade was traded and exchanged among elite members as a luxury item all over the pre-Hispanic American world and is often found in elite burial contexts, as personal adornments. It was replaced by gold very late in time in Mesoamerica, and around 500 AD in Costa Rica and Lower Central America.
Condition: Incomplete, with loss to the top right and chin area, that surprisingly does not detract, otherwise intact and well carved. A truly attractive and appealing necklace.
Dimensions: Height: 1 1/2 Inches (3.5 cm)
Provenance: Pendant: 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.
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