12 November 2004
A COSTA RICAN JADE BIRD PENDANT
Linea Vieja, Atlantic Watershed, ca. A.D. 300-700
The profile bird pendant with exaggerated recurved beak and tiny sunken eyes, with grooved wing feathers, the tail transforming into a ferocious alligator's head; in translucent sea-green stone, pierced for suspension.
Height 1 3/4 in. (4.2 cm.)
John Hauberg Collection, Seattle
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Elizabeth Kennedy Easby, Pre-Columbian Jade of Costa Rica , New York, 1968, pl.34.
Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum, 1970s.
Cf. Jade in Ancient Costa Rica, pl. 63 for the general type.
The fantastic birds are distinct for their curved beaks which extend down more than half the body length. These avian pendants might represent funerary or sacrificial-rite attendants who transported the dead to the next world.
See illustration of lot on back cover.
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