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Stone hacha once worn by players as part of a ball game in Meso America, estimated at £3000-5000 in the Chiswick Auctions sale on June 27.

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Among the tribal pieces from the Americas is a c.5th-6th century stone hacha from Veracruz. Hachas were part of the equipment worn by players of a ball game in Meso America and were intended to protect the body from the impact of a ball.

The word derives from the Spanish term for axe, referencing the shape of the piece, which can take the form of animal or human heads or more complex scenes.

This example is carved as the head of a monkey. Being made of stone, it is more likely to have served in ceremonial events than actual games when a lighter wood version would be employed. It has been consigned from a private UK collection.

The estimate is £3000-5000.

chiswickauctions.co.uk