Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Maya, Late Classic Period, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A hand-built pottery stamp seal with a tab-shaped handle and a rectangular body incised to form a complex motif. A lord, dressed in an elaborate feathered headdress, is either speaking or smoking (in Maya iconography, speech is often conveyed as a shape issuing from the mouth, though here that shape resembles an exhalation). Seated close by and facing the lord is another figure with a smaller body and slightly less elaborate headdress who appears to be listening attentively. Archaeologists believe that stamps like this one were used to decorate the body and/or clothing. Delightfully, the back of this stamp has clear fingerprints from its maker. Size: 1.2" L x 2.75" W x 2.5" H (3 cm x 7 cm x 6.4 cm)
Provenance: private Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA collection, purchased in 1970; ex-Clotilde Young private collection; ex-Juan Benevides collection, Panama
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Light wear on surface commensurate with age including a few chips, nicks, and scratches. However, the iconography is well preserved and clear.