Pre-Columbian, Jaina/Campeche Mexico, Maya, Late Classic Period, ca. 600 to 850 CE. An endearing mold-made terracotta figural rattle of triangular form with a tripod base depicting a mother and child. Seated cross-legged on a stool and wearing a long robe, the female figure holds a naked male child in her lap with her right arm while her left holds another object. Multiple bangles, volute earrings, and a beaded necklace adorn her body. Her hauntingly serene visage features two lidded almond-shaped eyes, a curved nose, and thin parted lips, as though mid-chant. Long straight hair parts down the middle of her head and is capped with a wide-brim discoid pointed headdress featuring ornaments, possibly plumes or leaves, protruding from the sides. Nice traces of original black pigment remain in areas and three holes for a whistle can be found on her back. A lovely ephemeral moment captured forever in beautiful redware sculpture. Size: 4.125" L x 1.5" W x 7.5" H (10.5 cm x 3.8 cm x 19 cm)
These figures, from an island off the Yucatan peninsula, are noted for their lifelike faces and their immense detail. Scholars believe that they represented actual people and were probably created in Campeche and brought to Jaina Island to be buried with the deceased.
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-KEC Miami, Florida, USA, acquired in 1980s
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Minor chips/nicks and light fading of details commensurate with age. Encrustations in recessed areas. Nice remains of pigment. Otherwise, intact and excellent.