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1700's or 1800's Guatemalan/Mayan Hand Embroidery

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Embroidery224 of 228Islamic SilkAntique Embroidered Pillow
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    Posted 10 years ago

    (224 items)

    This is Guatemalan embroidery work at its finest. This belonged to a very old couple who were dear friends of our family. One of their parents were very wealthy and traveled Central & South America extensively. They supposedly got this piece from descendants of the Maya's in the later part of the 19th century or early 20th century. The hand stitching and the vivid colors have been protected and are as vibrant and bright as the day it was made. All of the lines of stitching are raised to almost give it a "quilt" effect. Their height above the flat areas of the piece that these stitched lines represent, are approx a quarter inch high, or better. The depth this gives the piece is extraordinary. The couple I got it from gave it to me as a gift and it was their belief that the piece was much older than the 1800's. But I have since learned from Dizzy Dave & the comments below that this piece is no older than probably 1900. I love old art from this part of the world but unfortunately own very little of it. This is by far my finest example. Anything that is connected to the Maya's, the Aztecs or the Inca's is right on up there, interest wise to me. The only other area and time frame that excites me so, would be ancient Egypt and anything that has to do with the Pharaohs & the pyramids. The only problem I've encountered is when I try to take pictures of something like this, in the way one has to deal with the glare from the flash or when using artificial light, the seeing the light or lights in the mirror effect of the glass covering the piece. Thus the reason for the multiple shots.

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    1. StihlCollector StihlCollector, 10 years ago
      A very nice piece of art. When I was looking through your items this jumped out at me. I have always had a interest in art since Elementary school. My teachers always wanted me to go to art school. I was always told throughout my school years that I had a natural God given gift, but even though I love painting and working in different medias I knew it would be hard to make a living at it. I can definetly appreciate this.
    2. bahamaboy bahamaboy, 10 years ago
      Wow, you sure have me beat in the art dept. I'm in construction and can build anything as long as the person that's wanting it done has a set of plans or at least a picture or photo. But don't have me do any of the drawing. I can't even draw a good "stick man". And I'm not kidding. Thanks for taking a look at this piece. It's definitely one of my favorite vintage items. It's a shame that taking a pic of a mirror or a picture with glass is so difficult for me. It's that "glare factor". These photos do not do the piece half the justice it deserves. Thank you for taking a look.
    3. senor_trunk senor_trunk, 10 years ago
      very nice, another wonder from the mysterious mayans.
      just kidding of course, but i bet the guys from hooters would love to have this:)
    4. Dizzydave Dizzydave, 10 years ago
      This looks like a Kola, forms part of the traditional costume of a Kuna woman, two mola panels being incorporated as front and back panels in a blouse. Here are a few pictures of more. I have a few of these myself and have sold many over the yrs. Dave
    5. bahamaboy bahamaboy, 10 years ago
      Thanks DD for the links. I will check them out when I have some more time. Kuna sounds African to me?? Maybe it's not. All I know is that these came from either Central or possibly South America? And that they had to do with natives that were descendants of the people's in that region.
      The way this fabric looks up close reminds me of faces done with the natural color but the area of the skin is puffed up along what ever lines there are. Almost as if someone took flesh colored "play-do" and rolled it out in tiny long thin snakes and placed it on top of the skin where it looks like skin that's "puffed up". I know this probably makes little sense, and I'm sure this kind of puffed up stitching has a name but it looks as if you were a tiny ant and you were crawling across this piece, you would constantly be going up and down over little hills, and into little valleys, each time you crossed over one of these stitches. I just re-read this and it sounds absolutely stupid but I can't describe this "stitching with its depth" any other way. Anyway thanks to both of you for your comments and for the links.
    6. bahamaboy bahamaboy, 10 years ago
      I just checked out the links you gave me. Those pieces shown are incredible. It is exactly what I have. But I'm just wondering how one could tell the age of a piece, as I'm fairly certain of mine's age but yet mine looks just like these that are, from the looks, being sold today in outdoor bazaars. Very cool artwork across the board if you ask me, and probably being made today exactly like the trade that has been passed down for hundreds of years. Now that I know these are around, and from what it looks like, in great numbers, looks like another collection has begun. Like I really needed something else to collect. Thanks a lot. LOL
    7. Dizzydave Dizzydave, 10 years ago
      You have to count the layers and the colors. Looks to me to be early 1900-20. They have only been doing this for around 100 yrs now. The newer ones are a few layers and 3-4 colors. Alos the older ones are called Mukan or Grandmother Molas from 1900 era and then Serkan from around 1930's. These are the most collectable and have greater value to collectors. Before 1900 they painted the images on cloth and before that they painted the bare skin. Dave

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