Mayan Glazed Cylindrical Vessel with a Carved Band - PF.5632
Origin: El Salvador
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 9.125" (23.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Mayan
Medium: Terracotta


Much like we can conceive of spirits haunting the earth after their bodily demise, ancient spiritual powers, accumulated through centuries of reverence, continue to inhabit certain sacred object long after the civilization that created them has faded away. This cylindrical container is certainly one such object. The majority of the exterior body has been decorated with a haunting tan-colored glaze. The images of the glaze almost appear translucent against the earthenware hue of the pot itself. The effect is truly stunning. A large band on the lower half of the vessel contains three creatures resembling dragons, most likely stylized alligators with long curving bodies. Near the top of the vessel, a band of glyphs has been carved into the clay. The color and texture of this band are both greatly contrasted to the light hues and smooth feel of the glaze. Abstract patterns of circles and stepped-lines fill in the rest of the body. This unique vessel is absolutely splendid. The glaze appears to glow. Lines and circles jump out. Yet, this masterpiece is also deceptive. At first it seems quite plain, only adorned by a carved band; then, when inspected closer, the subtle painting reveal themselves. The play between the glaze and the carving is quite phenomenal. - (PF.5632)



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