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Large Mayan Mold-Made Poison Bottle with God L and God K

Large Mayan Mold-Made Poison Bottle with God L and God K


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1307402
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This large Mayan poison bottle dates to the Late Classic Period, circa 550-800 A.D., and is approximately 3.75 inches high, by 3.45 inches wide, by 1.5 inches thick. This mold made piece has a mirror image on each side that was pressed into the clay with a stamp. The image seen here is an audience scene between the Mayan God K, seen seated on the left, who is conferring with the seated Mayan God L that is seen to the right. Seen between them is a glyph band that is comprised of seven individual glyphs. Both of the Mayan gods seen here are also clad in intricate regalia and jade jewelry. God K also has an elongated snout and a smoke scroll that is emerging from his forehead, and God L, one of the lords of "Xibalba", who has an old man's wrinkled face, is seen wearing a distinctive "Moan Bird" headdress with upturned feathers. The Mayan "Moan Bird" was named "Oxlahun-Chaan" or "13-Sky", and he is the Mayan personification of the "Katun" and of the "sky". This piece also has mirror image double glyph bands seen on each side of the vessel. This piece is also intact, has no repair/restoration, and is in superb to mint condition. This piece also has some minute spotty black mineral deposits, and some attractive light brown burnishing. There are also traces of red cinnabar seen on the low relief areas on the outer surface, and this piece probably held powdered incense, or colored pigments, or red cinnabar that was sacred to the Maya. Red cinnabar was also widely traded within the Mayan world, and it was this type of vessel that was used to facilitate this trade. Red cinnabar has preservation properties, as it was mercury based, and this is why this type of Mayan bottle is often referred to as a "Poison Bottle". The Mayan elite also lined their tombs with this material, and in addition, traces of this material are often found on Mayan ceramics, as the Mayan tombs and ceramics were given "eternal life" with this type of material. This piece is a superb example, not only for it's condition, but also because the mold made and stamped images are very clear. This piece is also safe to handle, as the red cinnabar is deeply embedded into the clay and there are only trace amounts. An analogous example with the same stamped design and condition was offered in Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, New York, May 1996, no. 344. (The Sotheby's example has the normal size that is approximately 3 inches high. $1,500.00-$2,500.00 estimates, $2,070.00 realized.) Ex: New York collection, circa 1990. Ex: Ron Messick Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, circa 1990's. Ex: Spendors of the World Gallery, Haiku, HI. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: