Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0050
Donated By: Donick Cary, Emmy-Award winning writer/producer (Letterman /Simpsons / Parks and Recreation /Silicon Valley)

Pre-Columbian, Honduras, Ulua Valley, Mayan, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A large, Mayan polychrome cocoa cup, of a handbuilt cylindrical form featuring three kneeling lords / caziques wearing elaborate knobbed headdresses alternating with a large spiraled glyph of a mazelike form. Above and below are narrower registers of abstract glyphoids. Thick red bands further adorn the upper section just below the interior and exterior rims. The iconography is otherwise painted in red, orange, and black against a creamy beige ground. Size: 6.625" in diameter x 7.375" H (16.8 cm x 18.7 cm)

The pottery from the Ulua Valley is part of a very unique tradition different even from those found at nearby Copan. The Ulua Valley, centered around the large city of Cerro Palenque, remains a bit of a mystery for archaeologist, because they left no written records, and their connection to the Classic Maya is unclear. It seems to have been a point of trade and transport - a connecting link - between the Maya world further north and Central America.

According to the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education scholars Dorie Reents-Budet and Ronald Bishop, "Today, when high-profile foreign dignitaries visit the White House, they can expect to attend grand dinners and to receive gifts, often custom-made by the best artists in the country. The gifts honor the visitor and showcase the giver's fine taste. In the days of the Classic Maya (250-900 CE), state-level gift-giving was little different, and no gift reflected more meaning or artistic expertise than the painted ceramic vase. Twenty years ago, the hieroglyphs, images, and even origins of these extraordinary vessels were little known. Now, advances in decipherment and chemical technology have made these vases invaluable for exploring the economic, political, and social exploits of the Maya. The vases, used both to serve food at feasts and as gifts presented at such events, were created by highly skilled painters who had mastered the intricacies of Classic Maya religious mythology, ideology, and history, and used hieroglyphic writing as both communication and visual poetry. Artists were highly regarded and often members of elite families." (Archaeology Archive, Vol. 56,Number 2, March/April 2003, abstract)

Provenance: private D. C. collection, California, USA; D. C. is an Emmy Award winning Hollywood writer and Executive Producer, collected before 2000

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 to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.



Surface covered with manganese and some dendrite marks. One small chip to exterior wall.


Making music happen since 2009…

Today, Musack's mission is to give kids and teens a voice through music by providing guitars, drums, and support for music teachers - wherever the need arises.

But back in 2009, Emmy-Award winning writer/producer Donick Cary (Letterman /Simpsons / Parks and Recreation /Silicon Valley) began Musack with a simple vision - raise money to fund musical programs for his hometown high school on Nantucket Island. After a rash of teen suicides on the island, Donick thought about how he and his friends got through their teen years. Music.

Musack continues to make music happen around the world with support from people like you. All lots offered for sale in today’s fundraising auction have been donated by celebrities, non-celebrities, and local businesses. Help us help our kids - bid high, bid often!

Donick Cary
President, Musack.org

Don’t miss our 2017 Musack Rock n’ Roll Carnival!

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Mayan Ulua Valley Polychrome Cocoa Cup

Estimate $800 - $1,200Oct 5, 2017
Louisville, CO, USA