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Lot 86A: Rare Toltec Volcanic Stone Figural Mortar
27 October 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Pre-Columbian, Central Mexico, probably Tula Valley, Toltec possibly Aztec, ca. 10th to 15th century CE. A rare stone figural mortar, hand-carved from a volcanic stone of beautiful plum-purple and brown hues with an abstract figural representation likely inspired by the monumental Toltec Atlantes, though of course smaller in scale. The Atlantes of Tula were stone support pillars in the form of intimidating male warriors or noblemen, dubbed Atlantean for their load-bearing strength akin to that of the Titan Atlas. This figural piece is exceedingly rare and impressively carved with a stylized visage, helmet, and angular limbs. Size: 3.25" in diameter x 8.75" H (8.3 cm x 22.2 cm)
Provenance: Ex-P. Simon collection, Taos, NM
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Condition Report: Intact with minor, expected surface wear. Carved figural imagery is quite vivid.