**Originally Listed At $450**
Pre-Columbian, Highlands (Chiapas, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), Maya Late Classic Period, ca. 600 CE. A flare-rimmed dish that would have once stood on three short legs, featuring a painted central portrait head in tondo. The head faces left and depicts someone with an enormous cape and pectoral. The face is classically Mayan, with a prominent nose and very long, sloping forehead, representing beauty ideals that real Mayan lords seem to have cosmetically altered themselves to achieve. Feathers and a topknot rise upward and outward from the face and head. Around the central portrait, on the sloping sides of the rim, are a series of glyphs. Bright colors mark the interior, while the glyphs are all done with steady, black brush strokes. Size: 11.85" W x 2.4" H (30.1 cm x 6.1 cm)
Painted Maya pottery like this was used for feasting, ritual purposes, and as prestigious gifts given to emphasize the power of the giver and bind the recipient to them through a form of purchased loyalty. Maya kings and queens might give them to local governors. The artists who created them were also often minor royalty or nobility, especially the ones who could paint glyphs - literacy was likely reserved for the Mayan elite.
Provenance: private California, USA collection
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