Ballgame Palma

Ballgame Palma

c. 900–1100

Stone, pigment traces

Overall: 42.7 x 8.3 x 19.6 cm (16 13/16 x 3 1/4 x 7 11/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James C. Gruener 1990.249


In art, ballplayers are shown wearing palmas atop hip protectors like one displayed nearby. The palma covers the chest, as if to insulate it from bruising encounters with the rubber ball. The stone sculptures are too heavy for wear but may mimic the shape of lighter-weight gear used during play. This elegant, fan-shaped palma is adorned with scrolls that form grotesque heads in profile. Traces of blue indicate that like many ancient sculptures it was brightly painted.

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