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New fad | by conorwithonen
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New fad

Rock crystal skull

Probably European, 19th century AD

Purchased through Mr G.F. Kunz at Tiffany & Co, N.Y.


Large quartz crystal skulls have generated great interest and fascination since they began to surface in public and private collections, during the second half of the nineteenth century. Some of them have been attributed to the work of Aztec, Mixtec or even Maya stone workers. Others are said to be examples of colonial Mexican art, for use in churches, perhaps as bases for crucifixes.


Scientists at the British Museum have concluded that the quartz crystal used in the manufacture of this example is likely to have come from Brazil. Moreover, it bears traces of the use of a jeweller's wheel, which was unknown in the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans. These traces and the high polish of its surface indicate that it was carved using traditional European techniques.


The crystal skull was said to have come from Mexico, brought to Europe by a Spanish officer, before the French occupation. Sold to an English collector, upon his death it was acquired by Eugène Boban, a French antiquities dealer. It became the property of Tiffany and Co., N.Y., from whom it was purchased for The British Museum. Boban could have acquired the skull in Germany, where large quantities of Brazilian quartz crystal were shipped in the early nineteenth century.


Don't normally do "on white" but since you're going to come back and tell me if you like it, i'll make an exception.


See you after the jump-jump.


Isn't it just fab!?


Poxy glass display case... grrr!


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Taken on April 2, 2008