Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cylindrical Vessel

6th–9th century
Guatemala or Mexico, Mesoamerica
H. 7 7/8 x Diam. 6 1/4 in. (18.1 x 15.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
This polychrome cylindrical vessel is identified by the text around the rim as a Classic Maya (ca. a.d. 250-900) "drinking cup." The design layout is less common than the full figure scenes and deity depictions seen on many Maya vessels. The interpretation of the well drawn profile deity head is that it may be one of many forms of a watery serpent creature, a common image in Maya art, often with smoke clouds issuing from the top, bottom, left and right side of the head. The split scroll motifs could also be read as representing vegetal forms linking the deity to agriculture, spring, and the concept of regeneration and regrowth.
Private collection, New York, until 2005

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