A Costa Rican Marble Bird Mace Head, Greater Nicoya, Period IV, ca. 300 - 500 CE
Regular price$1,200 USD
Free USA shipping Free international shipping over $5,000
Carved from smooth white marble, the round body with a stylized bird head featuring an elongated beak gently carved to indicate a mouth and a raised double head crest along the top of the head.
Used as a symbolic object rather than a functional one, mace heads of this type occur in many different materials, sizes, and subjects. Found in most high-status graves, mace heads most probably served as identifiers of the person's clan or family through a corresponding animal, human, or geometric shape. There is an extraordinary variety of shapes -- birds, bats, coyotes, human faces, owls, snakes, monkeys, and basket weaves, to name a few. While each piece is unique and stylized in its own way, there is a similarity in shape that would have allowed each member of the clan to be easily recognized. Graves with owl-shaped mace heads, for example, would be easily recognizable as members of the owl clan.
Stone-Miller, Rebecca, Seeing with New Eyes: Highlights of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta: Emory University (2002), pp 144-5.
Condition: With several hairline cracks along the surface, overall intact and in good condition. Custom mounted.
Provenance: Private NY collection. Previously in the collection of Marianne and Robert Huber, Dixon, Illinois.
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.
For overseas shipments we charge a small flat rate which includes packing, preparation of all customs paperwork, insurance and carrier fees in compliance with all USA and International customs requirements. Overseas shipments are sent using either USPS Priority Mail or FedEx but contact us if you have a shipping preference. International customers are responsible for all duties and taxes.