Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Celt with Incised Profile

10th–4th century B.C.
Mexico, Mesoamerica
Jade (jadeite)
H. 14 3/8 x W. 3 1/8 in. (36.5 x 7.9 cm)
Stone-Implements, Jade
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1963
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 358
A large, finely finished jadeite celt with an engraved profile image of an early Mexican deity was not a working tool but an object of specialized use and sacred signficance.
[Julius Carlebach Gallery, New York, until 1956]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1956, on loan to Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1956–1963; Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1963–1978.

Covarrubias, Miguel. Indian Art of Mexico and Central America. New York: Knopf, 1957, fig. 33.

Museum of Primitive Art. Sculpture from Mexico Selected from the Collection of the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: Museum of Primitive Art, 1964, pl. 3.

The Society of the Four Arts. Primitive Art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Palm Beach: The Society of the Four Arts, 1964, no. 54.

Museum of Primitive Art. Masterpieces in the Museum of Primtive Art: Africa, Oceania, North America, Mexico, Central to South America, Peru. Handbook series. New York, NY: Museum of Primitive Art, 1965, pl. 81.

Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art. Pre-Columbian art of Latin America, 10th century B.C.-16th century A.D. Ithaca: Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Cornell University, 1966, no. 14, p. 36.

The Art of Ancient and Modern Latin America: Selections from Public and Private Collections in the United States. New Orleans: Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, 1968, no. 11.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas from the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969, no. 555.

The American Federation of Arts. Primitive Art Masterworks: an exhibition jointly organized by the Museum of Primitive Art and the American Federation of Arts, New York. New York: The American Federation of Arts, 1974, no. 75.

Newton, Douglas. Masterpieces of Primitive Art: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978, p. 192 top right.

Coe, Michael D., ed. The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Art Museum, 1996, p. 262, fig. 1.

Fields, Virginia M., and Dorie Reents-Budet. Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship. London and Los Angeles: Scala Publishers Limited, 2005, no. 13, p. 111.

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