Plaque fragment with profile face
- 600–900 CE
Jade and other greenstones were the most precious materials for the ancient Maya, equivalent to emeralds and diamonds in Western culture. Not only was jade carved into beads that functioned as both jewelry and currency, but this lustrous material was also carved into magical objects that were alive with soul-force and, thus, either useful or potentially harmful.
The carved images kings wore on their foreheads and chests projected supernatural power. This carved jadeite plaque fragment would have likely been suspended from a necklace originally. The male figure is shown in profile and wears a large beaded necklace. Further costume details are absent, and the facial features are indicated by lightly incised lines, with the nose, mouth, and chin being the only features that are fully visible.
Elaine Higgins Smith, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, 2016.
Carol Robbins, Label text [1968.20], A. H. Meadows Galleries, 2010.
Carol Robbins, Label text [1973.46], A. H. Meadows Galleries, 2010.
Getty Vocabulary, AAT (pendants (jewelry): AAT: 300046002).