This carved bead, fashioned out of a uniformly milky green jade nodule, presents a front-facing human figure seated with bent arms and legs drawn into a crouching position. Employing the curvature of the surface, the artist worked the stone to enhance the three-dimensionality of the figure. The central perforation of the bead was biconically drilled into the beveled planes at the top and bottom of the bead, effectively hiding the perforation when the image faces the viewer. The exaggerated size of the figure’s head compared to the body suggests a dwarf. The triangular face with squared chin has rectangular eyes, a broad nose, and slightly open, down-turned thick lips.
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-K, 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-K, 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. 206-207, pl. 25, fig. 117.
"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.