A rare Jade Female Celt Pendant, Cosa Rica, Early Classic Period, ca. 5th - 12th century CE
A rare Jade Female Celt Pendant, Cosa Rica, Early Classic Period, ca. 5th - 12th century CE

A rare Jade Female Celt Pendant, Cosa Rica, Early Classic Period, ca. 5th - 12th century CE


Regular price$2,950 USD
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Jade pendants in the form of figures with both human and avian attributes were popular for centuries in ancient Costa Rica. The longevity and broad geographic distribution of the form indicate deep cultural meaning and value. This large pendant is carved in the form of a female axe god. The face is carved with effective simplicity; a wide, horizontal mouth with full lips, and closed semi-circular eyes. The celt-shaped body has small incised breasts while the arms are bent at the elbow to clasp hands, a gesture that could indicate female fertility.

These features, together with the posture suggest a shaman or healer in the middle of a ritual performance or magical transformation, especially given that both women and men could be healers in ancient Costa Rican society. a pale blue figural celt with incised hands, knobbed cheeks, drilled eyes, and incised headband Drilled through the neck for suspension, this pendant was likely worn as the centerpiece of a necklace with additional beads of jade, greenstone, bone and/or wood.

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

Dimensions: Height: 6 inches (15.24 cm)

Provenance: Mirtha Virginia de Perea (1929 - 2019) private collection of Costa Rican art. Original collection sticker (4) on back.  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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