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.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.