Important Pre-Columbian Maya Skeletal Deity vase
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Important Maya Cylinder vase with Skeletal deity from Northern Peten, Guatemala, Late Classic 600-800 CE. This is an exceptional example of Late Classic Maya vase painting accomplished in a distinctive palette; showing a grisaille-like technique seldom seen with such naturalistic results. Note the background behind the figure is delicately shaded to give the effect of depth, possibly indicating a cave opening, a portal to XIB'AL'BA. This area has not been altered by modern restoration! The deity's three-dimensional rib cage, and skeletal arms and legs become even more gruesome with this unique and innovative shading technique used by the scribe. The inscription appears to be a combination of PSS and possibly shows Emblem Glyphs.
The figure's position (down on all fours) highly resembles that of a deer. The figure wears a deer-like cap with deer-ear on the skull. There is a documented version of a WHAY figure (a supernatural alter ego) known as DEER DEATH, and this skeletal version might be some variant of CHA'AHK and DEER DEATH.
9"H x 6.5"Diam (22.5cm x 16.25cm)
In very fine condition; several breaks have been professionally repaired and where there was slight distortion and loss of the pieces, minor fill has been added to stabilize and strengthen. Figure, itself, has very minimal paint touch up; the long hieroglyphic inscription has been damaged in several areas but enough of each glyph remained to allow accurate restrengthening of the line. Restoration was done by Barbara Kerr in 2008. Photographed and rolled out by Justin, and in Kerr archive #9132 and can be seen at the following link:
Provenance: Erasmo Toledo, Coral Gables FL, 1960's; ex-Chuck Warren, Coconut Grove FL, 1970's.
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