Pre-Columbian, classic Mayan, Pacific Lowland of Guatemala, ca. 500 to 800 CE. Perhaps it is just my sudden love for all things macabre, but this is one fabulous cylinder! A classic example in tall, cylindrical form decorated in Codex style of negative resist of white against black. Featured are two dancing skeletal deities, probably representations of God "A" along with long sashes to which are attached two inverted human trophy heads. Size: 4.375" W x 11.375" H (11.1 cm x 28.9 cm)
According to Wikipedia, God A is A Maya god of death whose name is not yet known. He is depicted ruling a part of the underworld surrounded by the bones of his subjects. His symbols are a skull and obsidian knife, both related to the practice of human sacrifice.
Provenance: ex-Arte Primitivo Gallery, New York, New York
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Remarkably intact with one small stable stress crack and minor pigment wear as shown.