Lidded Vessel with Fish and Reptilian Imagery

Lidded Vessel with Fish and Reptilian Imagery

250–450 CE
Culture
Maya
Country
Guatemala, Mexico
bowl, lid
Reduction-fired ceramic
Purchased in honor of Jan and Frederick Mayer with funds from 2001 Collectors' Choice
1998.33A-B

Unknown Maya artists, Lidded Vessel with Fish and Reptilian Imagery. Mexico or Guatemala, 250–450 CE. Reduction-fired ceramic. Purchased in honor of Jan and Frederick Mayer with funds from 2001 Collector's Choice, 1998.33. 

This object is currently on view
Department
Mayer Center, Art of the Ancient Americas
Collection
Art of the Ancient Americas

Lidded Vessel with Monstrous Fish-Shaped Handle
Maya
A.D. 250–450
Mexico or Guatemala
Reduction-fired earthenware
Funds from 2001 Collectors’ Choice, 1998.33

This covered bowl formed part of a matched set of three vessels (see also 1998.34 and 1998.35) that were buried together, probably in the tomb of a Maya ruler or noble.  The containers are graduated in size, and decorative programs on the lids differ from one another.  The arched body of a great fish or dolphin forms the handle of this lid.  The Maya underworld was understood to be a watery place, inhabited by deities and supernatural creatures.

Exhibition History
  • “Stampede: Animals in Art” — Denver Art Museum, 9/10/2017
  • “ReVision: Art in the Americas” — Denver Art Museum, 2/16/2020 – 11/8/2020