A large Mayan Copador Cylinder Vessel, Classic Maya Period, ca. 500 - 800 CE
Painted in earthy tones of red, orange, and brown on a tan background, this large cylinder-shaped vessel is elaborately decorated with two opposing rulers, painted red with white faces, each standing with an outstretched arm and wearing ornate feathered headdresses and large feathered backsplashes, as well as ear ornaments, wide bracelets, and extravagant collars. A band of glyphs is painted above the scene, and a band of red painted around the rim and base of the vessel.
The Maya used cylinder vessels to drink a highly-prized frothy and bitter beverage made from cacao, though the size of this example suggests it was used to froth cacao rather than for drinking. Vessels of this type were painted with painstaking detail, as they were reserved for use by the elites during banquets, similar to the concept of today's fine china. Each city-state had its own unique motifs and scenes, and rulers would often gift cylinder vessels as diplomatic gifts.
Condition: Complete, with overall scattered mineral deposits and root marks on the surface. Repaired from approximately eight original pieces with light cosmetic in-painting over the break lines. A large and impressive example.
Dimensions: Height: 8 3/4 inches (22.2 cm), Width: 7 1/2 inches (19.05 cm)
Provenance: Scottsdale, AZ collection, acquired from Western artist Bill Freeman in the 1990s.
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