Pre-Columbian, Jaina / Campeche Mexico, Maya, Late Classic Period, ca. 600 to 850 CE. An incredibly detailed ceramic depiction of a man, dressed in what looks like armor. Sandals with rich feather decoration around the ankle and x-patterned straps cover his feet; a heavy, multi-layered skirt is draped around his lower body, with a belt made to look like a double row of feathers; above that is a heavy, multi-layered shirt with thick, cross-hatched straps around the forearms and wide, hatched flaps that hang down from the shoulders over the upper arms. Around the neck is a feathered strap with a long, dangling pectoral that appears to be decorated with large, round spools. Size: 4.75" W x 9.5" H (12.1 cm x 24.1 cm); 11.5" H (29.2 cm) on included custom stand.
The man wears a tall piece of headgear that is shaped like the top of the Tikal pyramid, with a rectangular crest. Giant spool earrings with projecting cylinders are through his ears and his face has deeply incised patterns from his hairline to his cheeks that may represent tattooing, scarification, or some kind of jewelry. The face is solemn, with a large nose and heavy brow, and seems modeled on an older man.
Figures like this one, from an island off the Yucatan peninsula, are noted for their lifelike faces and their immense detail. They feature characters who are not often seen in other forms of Mayan artwork like stelae or pottery. The clothing that this figure wears almost certainly copies the real clothing of a person in the Late Classic Maya period. These figures probably represent actual people and seem likely to have been produced in Campeche and brought to Jaina Island to be buried with the dead.
Provenance: private S.H. collection, Santa Clara, California, USA; acquired Contici Gallery, Florida, USA
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