Stone masks such as this were rare and greatly valued across the western Mexican region (except for Guerrero) since these artists often worked more closely with ceramics rather than with stone. The mask here was created by Colima artists from dark green diorite stone by employing a pecking technique. Some scholars believe that the facial features and medium reveal contact with other areas of Mesoamerica, most likely in central Mexico.
The Colima tradition, named for the modern Mexican state for which it was first written about academically, is related to similar pre-colonial west Mexican cultures found across the modern Mexican states of Nayarit and Jalisco. These cultures are believed to have developed some distinct features especially centering around death and distinct shaft tomb burials.
Private Collection, Europe;
[Sotheby’s New York, November 20, 1995, lot 252];
The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, 1995-2010;
Gift to The Vilcek Foundation, 2010;
Sotheby’s New York, Pre-Columbian Art, November 20, 1995, lot 252.