User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Tripod plate

Start collecting

Large plate with three tall, cylindrical supports ("legs"), each containing a rattle sphere of clay. Painted in the Holmul-style of eastern Guatemala, the image features the Maize god dancing at creation when he set the Three Stones of the cosmic hearth. These stones also are represented by...

Show Full Description


By 1965, private collection, Costa Rica and later Miami; 1965, sold from this private collection in Miami to a private American collection; December 6, 2005, consigned for sale, Christie's, Paris (sale no. 5329), lot 450, unsold; 2006, sold by Christie's, New York to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 22, 2006) NOTE: The plate was exhibited at the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, in 1980; tested at Brookhaven National Laboratories, 1981, as part of the Maya Survey database and given # MS0605; photographed by Justin Kerr, New York, before 1992 and given Kerr #5723; exhibited in Painting the Maya Universe (Duke University, January 15-March 27, 1994; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, April 15- June 26, 1994; Denver Art Museum, July 15-September 15, 1994; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October 8, 1994-January 8, 1995; Yale University Art Museum, February 10, April 23, 1995), and was exhibited at Christie's, New York, November 10-15, 2005 and in Paris, December 2-5, 2005.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Lavinia and Landon T. Clay

Maya, Late Classic Period, A.D. 672–830

Object Place

Naranjo-Holmul area, Department of Petén, Guatemala

Catalogue Raisonné

MS0605; Kerr 5723


Overall: 14 x 33 cm (5 1/2 x 13 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: red, orange, and black on cream slip




Ceramics, Pottery, Earthenware