Cylinder vase

Late Classic Period
A.D. 700–800

Object Place: Uaxactún area, Department of El Petén, Guatemala

Catalogue Raisonné

MS0051; Kerr 5448


Overall (H x D): 21.3 x 10.8 cm (8 3/8 x 4 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware with black on orange slip paint and incised decoration

Not On View





Two depictions of an artist grace each side of this vase, the renderings separated by a vertical line of undeciphered hieroglyphs, which also are repeated around the rim of the vase. The figures sit on a bundle-like cushion whose %-like motif (known as a cimi [pronouned kee-mee] sign) indicates an underworld location. The two seated figures are identified as artists by the paint pots on their laps and paint brushes in their raised right hands. They may represent the Maize god in his role as one of the gods of Creation, implied by the particular haircut and panache of maize foliage atop their heads.


By 1972, sold by Lee Moore (dealer), Miami, to Landon T. Clay, New Hampshire [see note]; 2004, year-end gift of Landon T. Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 23, 2005)

NOTE: According to the donor at the time of the gift. The vase was studied as part of the Maya Ceramics Project (Smithsonian Institution) in the 1970s.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay