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Scarce Mayan Votive Throne Altar Model with Facing God

Scarce Mayan Votive Throne Altar Model with Facing God


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1286571
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This scarce to rare piece is a Mayan terracotta model of a throne, which dates circa 600-900 A.D. This piece is approximately 3.4 inches high, by 6.4 inches long, by 3.2 inches wide. This piece is made from four molded pieces, and the details and images seen on this piece were mold pressed into the terracotta. The front side of this piece shows a facing god figure, who also appears to be supporting the weight of the upper panel. The upper panel also shows two square "mat designs" which each show twelve boxes with a "spiral" symbol within. This "spiral" symbol is likely depicted as meaning "CH'ICH", meaning "blood", and/or "blood offering". This symbol also makes perfect sense for this piece, as this piece may also portray an offering altar, as well as portraying a throne that may have supported a seated figurine. The two holes seen at the top may be for pins to help support a seated figurine, but they may also represent holes that were used to drain the blood from the two panels, and this blood would then drip down below the altar and to the underworld gods below. According to the Mayan belief of blood offerings, each drop of blood would nourish the gods and the earth, ensuring a new abundant maize harvest that would feed the people and provide wealth for the court. If this was the case regarding this piece, then this piece likely is a votive representation of an offering altar where bloody offerings were placed for the gods, and this type of altar may also have doubled as a sacred throne for a Mayan royal personage. The emerging facing god seen at the front of this piece, may be a frontal version of the "War Serpent God", otherwise known as the "Jaguar-Serpent-Bird God". This composite image is primarily associated with warfare, and was a popular image with the Maya at Piedras Negras and Chichen Itza. The image seen on this piece also has feathers above each extened arm, jaguar-paw hands, a double necklace, large round ear-flares, and a nose guard attachment. (For the type of god seen here, see "The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya" by Mary Miller and Karl Taube, Thames and Hudson1993, pp. 104-105.) This piece is 100% original, and was repaired from four large fragments. There are also minute black spotty mineral deposits seen in various sections of the piece. This type of votive piece is seldom seen on the market, and also displays a Mayan god that is seldom seen. Ex: Private New York collection, circa 1980's. Ex: Howard Rose collection, New York, circa 1990's. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: