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San Juan Bautista #3, 19th Century, Brazil
San Juan Bautista 19thCentury Huamanga Stone
This is a rare 19th 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 holding a staff with a cross at the top. He has a golden Tres Potencias or Rays of Power (6.5" W x 4.0" H) attached the back of his head. This potencias are not original to the piece and may have been added at the turn of the 20th century. The piece do have a chip on the lower left side of the base and the lower right side near the back as shown in picture #5. Colors of turmeric yellow, red, brown, green and silver are still vibrant. There are two animals carved on the base (a lamb and a donkey). This is an amazing old piece with beautiful color combinations.
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: 11.5” High (14.0” from bottom of base to top of crown) x 4.5” Wide x 1.75” Deep
Weight: 2 Lbs., 14 Oz.
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