Pre-Columbian, Guatemala, Peten Basin, Maya, Late Classic Period, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A gorgeous hand-built pottery vase with a flat base, tall walls with a tapering lower body, a deep basin, and a thick rim. Thick swath of red-orange pigment adorns the upper rim and lower body just above the base, and the midsection is presented with a creamy white hue. Painted atop the body are mirrored stepped bands with parallel black stripes coursing throughout the interior, with abstract disembodied eyeballs contained within the empty spaces as well as comprising the 'corners' of two circular panels. One circular panel contains a stacked composite glyph, and the other contains a glyph which is perhaps a variation of the glyph for "dog." A fabulous example from the ancient Maya! Size: 5.875" W x 5.7" H (14.9 cm x 14.5 cm).
The Peten region was one of the most densely populated regions in the world during the Maya period, home to several million people and many powerful urban areas, each with their own style of distinctive artwork. They left behind ceramics as dedicatory caches when building monumental and other public structures and residential communities, both of higher and lower statuses - so it was a very widespread practice. They also placed a variety of offertory jars into tombs. In some cases, these jars were filled with food and drink explicitly given to the gods. In other examples, as at the Temple of the Hidden Jars at the late Postclassic site of Ixlu, Peten, jars were filled with soil, perhaps to represent the earth with all its agricultural possibilities.
Provenance: private California, USA collection; ex-Arte Primitivo Gallery, New York, New York, USA; ex-Marc Schmidtt collection, Florida, USA, acquired in 1982
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