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Mayan Polychrome Cylindrical Vase - PF.1198
Origin: El Salvador
Circa: 600 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 9.625" (24.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Mayan
Medium: Terracotta

The vessel portion of this object rests on the back of a beautifully modeled jaguar. The animal lies comfortably with its front feet extended, while he turns his bulbous eyes upwards as if watching a bird in a tree. His open mouth exposes very sharp and very realistic teeth. Incised lines in sharp triangular shapes cleverly represents whiskers. Pointed ears provide added realism, and also a perfect structural balance to the extension of the spout. The artist has obviously allowed the sculptural element to predominate over the purely functional nature of the vessel. Jaguar cults proliferated in Mesoamerica and their elaborate rituals involved using various substances, both in liquid and dry form. The excellent quality of this vessel attests to it having been made for a wealthy individual, who no doubt took pride in owning it as an object of beauty and great charm. - (PF.1198)


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