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Lot 0119
Donated By: Donick Cary, Emmy-Award winning writer/producer (Letterman /Simpsons / Parks and Recreation /Silicon Valley)

Pre-Columbian, Maya, Ulua Valley, Honduras, ca. 550 to 900 CE. An iconographically dense, brightly-painted cylinder with low tripod legs. In three registers around the body are bands of richly painted symbols in red, orange, deep brown, and an earthy cream color. The upper and lower registers have glyphs depicting repeated heads of the feathered serpent god Kukulkan (Quetzalcoatl in Nahuatl, sometimes called Gukumatz in parts of the Maya world) interspersed with cross-hatched squares. Cross hatching is associated with the glyph for "planting", tz'ap, but may also indicate a net, perhaps for fishing or hunting. Between those is a larger register that contains repeated images of a couple wearing huge, matching feathered headdresses joined in sexual congress and, in a deep brown border, a highly abstract woven or knotted pattern. A very similar example may be found in the collection of the San Diego Museum of Man. Size: 5.8" W x 7.5" H (14.7 cm x 19 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.

The Ulua Valley is sometimes referred to as the Mesoamerican Frontier, the place where the lowlands of the Maya met the lower part of Central America and its different cultures. They are famous for producing marble and polychrome ceramic cylinders that were traded far and wide.

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.

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Intact, with some wear to pigment from deposition and age as shown. Manganese deposits on surface and small areas of root marks. Encrustation in some areas, especially on the base. Small areas of staining on the base of the feet from putty used to stabilize the vessel on a shelf.


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

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Mayan Ulua Valley Polychrome Cylinder

Estimate $1,000 - $1,500Oct 5, 2017