This thin, bracket-shaped pendant of mottled-dark-green and light-gray-green jadeite presents the head, torso, and thighs of an anthropomorphic figure whose carved profile wraps around the edge of the object; the edge with the suspension hole is left plain. The reverse side is plain except for shattered areas, suggesting this work was fashioned from a flake off of a larger stone. There are three perforations, and it is unclear how the ornament would have been worn. The largest perforation runs through the entire length of the stone, while another goes through the protruding nubbin located along the middle edge of the pendant. A small biconical perforation pierces through the front and back of the object on one end.
With the pendant oriented vertically, the figure’s head is in profile, turned to the left. The individual wears a simple cloth headdress, with his hair tied above the plain headband. A loincloth around the waist extends between the legs. The torso is shown frontally, with arms bent and hands uplifted in front of the chest. The backs of the hands touch, with fingers pointed outward. The individual wears a prominent earspool, which coincides with the nubbin through which the suspension hole is perforated. The pendant most likely depicts a male of high, perhaps royal, status in a stance similar to those seen on stelae portraits and elsewhere, where important personages and deities commonly hold ceremonial bars.
Bliss, Robert Woods 1957 Pre-Columbian Art: The Robert Woods Bliss Collection. Text and Critical Analyses by S. K. Lothrop, Joy Mahler and William F. Foshag. Phaidon, New York. p. 251, cat. 116-N, pl. LXVII.
Bliss, Robert Woods 1959 Pre-Columbian Art: The Robert Woods Bliss Collection. 2nd ed. Text and Critical Analyses by S. K. Lothrop, Joy Mahler and William F. Foshag. Phaidon, London. p. 259, cat. 116-N, pl. LXVII.
Pillsbury, Joanne, Miriam Doutriaux, Reiko Ishihara-Brito and Alexandre Tokovinine (EDS.) 2012 Ancient Maya Art at Dumbarton Oaks. Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks, Number 4. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., p. 220-221, pl. 30, fig. 125.
"Indigenous Art of the Americas", National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, August 1956 to July 1962.
Purchased from Robert Stolper, New York (dealer), by Robert Woods Bliss, 1956.
Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, Washington, DC, 1956-1962.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Pre-Columbian Collection, Washington, DC.