Large Maya Blackware Incised Lidded Vessel
Early Classic, ca. A.D. 250-450
Earthware with dark brown/black slip
height 10 3/4in (27.3cm); diameter 13 3/8in (34cm)
Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles, ca. 1970
Sotheby's, New York, May 1995, Lot 146
Christie's, Paris, June 2004, Lot 418
Private California collection
Acquired from the above by the present owner
This monumental two-part blackware lidded cache vessel has incised glyph decoration on both sides of the vessel and lid. The vessel has a lower flange around the base with a tapered stepped lid with a large slightly tapered knob finial. The reduction fired black surface is burnished to a satin, almost leather-like finish. The finely incised decoration depicts an abstract rendering of the profile head of the Maya Long Nose god having a large eye at the top center, and his nose extending off to the left, and within the abstract facial structure are four glyph symbols. The image is repeated four times, on opposite sides and on the lid.
This type of vessel would have been interred with a king or important dignitary, used to hold precious objects that the ruler would need in the afterlife.