Precolumbian Collection

Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross
Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross

Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross

Mexico, Usumacinta region, Chiapas, Palenque, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900)
c. A.D. 690-720
Ceramic with traces of pigments
44 7/8 × 21 1/2 × 11 1/2 in. (114 × 54.6 × 29.2 cm)
AP 2013.02
Monumental ceramic censer stands are some of the finest and largest freestanding sculptures created by Maya artists.
Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld
Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld

Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld

Mexico, Usumacinta region, Chiapas, Palenque, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900)
c. A.D. 690-720
Ceramic with traces of pigments
44 × 22 × 12 1/4 in. (111.8 × 55.9 × 31.1 cm)
AP 2013.01
Monumental ceramic censer stands are some of the finest and largest freestanding sculptures created by Maya artists.
Vessel with Ceremonial Scene
Vessel with Ceremonial Scene

Vessel with Ceremonial Scene

Mexico, Campeche, Jaina Island (?), Maya culture, Chocholá style
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 690–750
Carved ceramic with traces of pigment
H. 8 1/8 in. (20.7 cm); Diam. 6 13/16 in. (17.3 cm)
APx 1974.04
The scene on this vessel appears to depict a ritual that is being enacted in a sumptuous palace interior, indicated by the swagged curtain framing the top of the scene.
Stela with a Ruler
Stela with a Ruler

Stela with a Ruler

Guatemala, Petén region, El Peru, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
A.D. 692
Limestone
107 3/8 x 68 3/8 in. (272.7 x 173.7 cm)
AP 1970.02
The Maya were prolific makers of carved stone-slab monuments, or stelae, which were normally set up within architectural complexes and most often portray specific, named individuals who were members of the hereditary dynasties that ruled Maya city-states.
Male Face
Male Face

Male Face

Mexico, Chiapas, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 700–900
Stucco with traces of paint
10 1/4 x 8 15/16 x 6 1/2 in. (26 x 22.7 x 16.5 cm)
AP 1971.05
Modeled in high relief, this stucco head was originally an architectural ornament for a state ceremonial building. Probably the portrait of an important official, the face has the high-bridged nose characteristic of the Maya, as well as shallow eye sockets and irregular features.
Pendant: Twin Warriors
Pendant: Twin Warriors

Pendant: Twin Warriors

Panama, Azuero Peninsula, Conte Style
Late Classic to Postclassic period (600–1521)
c. 700–1200
Gold
3 1/4 x 4 13/16 x 1 in. (8.2 x 12.2 x 2.5 cm) Weight: 0.63 lb. (286.8 g)
AP 1979.23
The art of casting elaborate designs in gold had emerged in Panama by the middle of the first millennium A.D.; regional schools excelled in the techniques of cast and beaten gold.
Pendant: Two Deer Heads
Pendant: Two Deer Heads

Pendant: Two Deer Heads

Panama, Azuero Peninsula, Conte Style
Late Classic to Postclassic period (600–1521)
c. 700–1200
Gold
2 13/16 x 4 11/16 x 1 in. (7.2 x 11.9 x 2.5 cm) Weight: 0.42 lb. (188.4 g)
AP 1979.24
The art of casting elaborate designs in gold had emerged in Panama by the middle of the first millennium a.d.; regional schools excelled in the techniques of cast and beaten gold.
Vessel with a Ball Game Scene
Vessel with a Ball Game Scene

Vessel with a Ball Game Scene

Mexico or Guatemala, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 700–800
Polychromed ceramic
H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm); Diam. 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm)
AP 1989.05
The figures on Vessel with a Ball Game Scene are engaged in a ritual ball game commonly played in Late Classic period (A.D. 600 –900) Maya cities. The protective ball game equipment includes a heavy wood-and-leather belt and knee pad.
Vessel with Two Gods before a Mountain
Vessel with Two Gods before a Mountain

Vessel with Two Gods before a Mountain

Guatemala, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 700–800
Carved ceramic with traces of pigment
H. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm); Diam. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
AP 1980.10
The elaborate mythological scene on this vessel, carved in low relief in the leather-hard clay before firing, achieves at a smaller scale much the same effect as the Maya stone relief carvings.
Vessel of the Ik’ Dancer
Vessel of the Ik’ Dancer

Vessel of the Ik’ Dancer

Guatemala, Maya culture
Precolumbian
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 750
Polychromed ceramic
H. 8 3/4 in. (22.3 cm); Diam. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)
AP 1985.10
This vessel depicts a Maya lord nicknamed the Fat Cacique, ruler of the Ik’ polity. The action of the scene is divided between the interior and exterior of a palace building raised on a low platform with two steps.
Vessel with a Procession of Warriors
Vessel with a Procession of Warriors

Vessel with a Procession of Warriors

Mexico, Usumacinta River Valley, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 750–850
Polychromed ceramic
H. 6 5/16 in. (16 cm); Diam. 6 5/16 in. (16 cm)
APx 1976.16
This vessel depicts a parade of warriors after a battle. The naked figure is a captive who is being led by an elaborately dressed warrior for sacrificial display. The leader of the party may be the figure wearing a full jaguar pelt and wielding a bloody weapon.
Vessel with Five Figures
Vessel with Five Figures

Vessel with Five Figures

Mexico, Usumacinta River Valley, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 750–800
Polychromed ceramic
H. 10 3/16 in. (25.8 cm); Diam. 6 1/4 in. (15.8 cm)
AG 1979.02
Processional scenes are a common mode of representation on Maya painted vessels. On each side of this vessel a noble lord prepares to dance with a lady.
Vessel with an Enthroned Lord and Seated Figure
Vessel with an Enthroned Lord and Seated Figure

Vessel with an Enthroned Lord and Seated Figure

Mexico, Xcalumkin (Northern Lowlands), Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
A.D. 765
Incised ceramic (fine grayware) with traces of red pigment
H. 9 in. (22.9 cm); Diam. 6 3/4 in. (17.2 cm)
AP 2000.04
This superbly incised Maya vessel depicts a young lord seated upon a low, wooden-basketry throne draped with a fringed jaguar skin. He is elaborately dressed in a luxurious fur or feather cape and wears a feathered headdress inside of which is perched a stuffed monkey.
Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler
Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler

Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler

Mexico, Usumacinta River Valley, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 785
Limestone with traces of paint
45 3/8 x 35 in. (115.3 x 88.9 cm)
AP 1971.07
This carved relief probably served as a wall panel inside a Maya building or as a lintel over an entrance. It depicts the presentation of captives in a palace throne room, indicated by swag curtains at the top of the panel.
Xipe Totec
Xipe Totec

Xipe Totec

Mexico, Nahua culture
Postclassic period (900–1521)
c. 900–1200
Ceramic
15 3/4 x 6 5/8 x 3 7/8 in. (40 x 16.8 x 9.8 cm)
AP 1979.39
Xipe Totec, the Aztec god of spring and regeneration, appears in many Mesoamerican cults. A fertility deity, Xipe Totec vividly conveys the concept of death and rebirth by wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim.
Rain God Vessel
Rain God Vessel

Rain God Vessel

Mexico, Colima, El Chanal, Mixtec style
Middle Post Classic period (1200–1400)
c. 1100–1400
Polychromed ceramic
9 3/4 x 8 1/4 x 11 1/4 in. (24.7 x 21 x 28.5 cm)
APx 1974.02
This spouted vessel in the form of a crouching figure represents an important aspect of Mesoamerican religious practice—deity impersonation—by which the gods were brought directly into the world of experience. The disguise portrayed in this piece is a double one, however: warrior and rain god.

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