Folk Art Mexican Wood Carving of a Conquistador
Folk Art Mexican Wood Carving of a Conquistador

Folk Art Mexican Wood Carving of a Conquistador

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This is an interesting hand carved statue of a conquistador (conqueror) of the early 16th century. He's wearing a jerkin (tunic), pantalones (trousers) and holding a flat hat typical of that era in his right hand. His hair and beard are finely carved and he is holding up his right hand to the right side of his head, as if in amazement or perhaps horror. (After all, Hernando Cortes' band of 500 men defeated the Aztec empire and conquered South and Central Mexico.) It's ironic that a Spanish warrior would be the subject of a Mexican carving, but this was art created for tourists. We've seen one other statue almost identical to this one and it was marked "Mexico." He's fully carved on both sides and stands on a rough wooden plinth, reminiscent in style of a bulto.

This carving is about 11 inches tall, 3 inches across the base and 1 1/2 inches from front to back. There is a small chip out of his left elbow and his hat has an age crack, but he is in wonderful vintage condition and an excellent folk art piece to stand alone or join a collection.

© Linda Henrich

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PYH 4051

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