Tripod plate with tall, cylindrical supports. Its interior surface is painted with the image of a Maya lord dancing in front of a bench throne which is decorated with sky signs. The lord peers into a divination mirror which is set atop the bench and leaning against a stack of cloth topped by...
Tripod plate with tall, cylindrical supports. Its interior surface is painted with the image of a Maya lord dancing in front of a bench throne which is decorated with sky signs. The lord peers into a divination mirror which is set atop the bench and leaning against a stack of cloth topped by long, quetzal bird feathers, both of which represent tribute or a gift received by the lord. The black background of the scene may indicate the event is taking place at night or a supernatural location. The interior wall of the plate are divided into 4 sections by short, vertical, pseudo-glyph texts, each section embellished with a profile saurian head that likely provides locational information for the depicted event. The exterior wall of the plate is painted with large blood or water scrolls on a black background, which may indicate an underworld or supernatural location for the event. "Supported on tall rattle feet, the tondo boldly painted with a corpulent lord standing before a large bench throne, looking over his right shoulder with strong arms in a gesture, wearing loincloth, jade necklace and earrings, the headdress of a snouted monster head with thick feather panache at back, the bench laden with tribute including a stack of bound codices, a plumed perforator resting on top, and a mirror propped against them, the rim encircled by four bands each with a profile head of the long-lipped monster, the exterior rim decoratively painted with alternating scroll and mat motifs/ the whole with areas highlighted by pink pigment against the black and orange." [from Sotheby's catalogue text]
Acquired in New York sometime before the early 1980s by a private collector (according to both Sotheby's and the family of the seller's estate this object was in his New York apartment for decades); sold Sotheby's, New York, Sale N07996, lot 192, May 14, 2004; to the MFA, June 2004, purchase.
Gift of Lavinia and Landon T. Clay
Maya, Late Classic Period, A.D. 650–750