This pendant once was suspended through the lateral holes that pierce it head just above the shoulders. It depicts a frontal, standing, unadorned figure, with elbows bent and hands together in front of his torso.
The carving is rendered with simple facial details—including fine, shallow lines to represent the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears—along with a line at the forehead to delimit the hair or tightly fitted hat. The hands meet in the front with a simple vertical line dividing the two; a single, perpendicularly carved groove is the only indication of digits. The legs are defined by a vertical cut that continues between the feet and onto the reverse side as well. In contrast to the front, the reverse side is rather flat, worked with shallow, straight lines to demarcate the neck, arms, legs, and feet of the figure.
The jadeite is mottled with an overall coloration of green with light-green to gray variations and a granular appearance. The low relief carving is polished on all sides, although the reverse side is not as consistently honed as the front. The reverse side has traces of red pigment that adhere to the shallow crevices in the stone’s surface.
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-J, 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-J, pl. LVII.
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. 202-205, pl. 24, fig. 114, 115.
"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.