Note: All prices in US Dollars
San Juan Bautista #1, 17th Century, Brazil
San Juan Bautista 17thCentury Huamanga Stone
This is a rare and very fine 17th century Portuguese Colonial Huamanga (Alabaster) stone carving depicting San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist) provenance Brazil. He is holding the Lamb of God on a Book on his left hand and on his right hand he is clasping a stick with a cross on top. Attached to the cross is a banner that says, "Ecce Agnus Dei" which translate as "Behold the Lamb of God". He has a silver halo attached to his head on the back. The halo which is hand hammered (chased and repoussed) and is tested for high quality silver with 1 7/8” diameter and 15 grams. It is uncertain if the halo is original to the piece but it fits perfectly. The piece except for the natural age wear is in almost pristine condition with no breaks or cracks. Note the Lamb of God style of carving is typical of the period. The stone itself has mellowed its color through the years. It has turned dark golden honey and has picked up some shine and much patina. Prominent colors are red and black and some tone of orange at the base. As found condition with no restoration whatsoever.
Short info about Huamanga Carvings: Following the establishment of the city of San Juan de la Frontera de Huamanga in the first half of the 16th century (present-day Ayacucho, Peru) the region became known for its beautifully crafted sculptures and reliefs made of huamanga (piedra de Huamanga), a type of alabaster that was found in abundance in the area.
The first sculptures date from the 17th century; by the 18th century, images made from the translucent, soft material were widely used by both the clergy and lay people, in part because they resembled the more expensive ivories from Asia that were coveted by the colonial elite.
Peruvian alabaster carving is often categorized as popular art and craft. However, Huamanga stone sculpture merits recognition as a fine art in its own right, representative of a tradition that originated in the Spanish colonial period and continues today in the central Andes of Peru.
Dimensions: 10.5” High (11 ½” from bottom of base to top of crown) x 4.0” Wide x 2.5” Deep
Weight: 2 Lbs., 10 Oz.
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