Pre-Columbian, Mexico and northern Central America, Mayan Territories, Late Classic, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A large cylinder jar, wonderfully painted, standing on three nub-like feet, and with a slightly flared rim. The interior is a uniform beige color, while the exterior has a complex painted iconography in shades of dark red and orange. This features several serpent-headed creatures with massive, feathered bodies - representations of the god Kukulkan (Quetzalcoatl in Nahuatl, sometimes called Gukumatz in parts of the Maya world). Each has a fierce face with a long snout and horn-like projections from its forehead. Size: 5.3" W x 6.95" H (13.5 cm x 17.7 cm)
For the Maya, extraordinary painted ceramic vases like this example were gifted to elite individuals, akin to the gifts exchanged between high profile dignitaries today. Vases were a functional gift, created by artist/scribes who came from elite families and who took pains to recreate the stories of Mayan mythology and religion as well as to depict royal and godly personages in their artwork. This artwork reinforced the ruling ideology and reminded the viewer of what was valuable in Mayan society. Today, they teach us about the stories that were important to the Maya and also give us clues to how elite people lived and dressed. Scholars have painstakingly worked to decipher the meaning of the iconography and glyphs painted on cylinder jars and we know much more about them than we did even twenty years ago.
Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
Repaired and restored from multiple large pieces. This is well done and almost impossible to see, especially on the exterior. Overpaint along the repaired areas on the interior. Nice deposits on surface. Remains of wax on feet.