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Standing Figure

Olmec, Middle Preclassic
900 BCE - 300 BCE
8.57 cm x 3.81 cm x 1.91 cm (3 3/8 in. x 1 1/2 in. x 3/4 in.)

Not on view


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Like other objects in the collection this figure, carving from a rich green jadeite, probably derives from a celt. Both the nasal septum and earlobes are pierced by biconical drilling, and it is possible that this figure could have been suspended through the ears as a form of pendant. The corners of the mouth also were carved by drilling, a common trait of Olmec lapidary. Broad line incision was employed to delineate the belly, loins, and back, which has a Y-shaped groove running from the buttocks to the nape of the neck, where it forks to delineate the shoulders from the neck. Whereas all of the fingers are carved by incision, only the large toes are carved on the feet.

Benson, Elizabeth P. 1963 Handbook of the Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art. Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C., p. 7, cat. 28.

González Calderón, O. L. 1991 The Jade Lords. O.L. González Calderón, Coatzacoalcos, Ver., pl. 424.

Niederberger, Christine 1987 Paléopaysages Et Archéologie Pré-Urbaine Du Bassin De México (Mexique). 1re éd. ed. Etudes Mésoaméricaines, V. 11. Centre d'études mexicaines et centraméricaines, México. fig. 608-2.

Taube, Karl A. 2004 Olmec Art at Dumbarton Oaks. Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks; No. 2. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., p. 78, pl. 11.

Exhibition History
"Lasting Impressions: Body Art in the Ancient Americas" , Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, 10/1/2011 - 3/4/2012.

Acquisition History
Purchased from Earl Stendahl, Los Angeles (dealer), by Robert Woods Bliss, 1962.

Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, Washington, DC,1962.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Pre-Columbian Collection, Washington, DC.

Anthropomorphic | Olmecs