Cylinder vase

Late Classic Period
A.D. 680–750

Place of Manufacture: Department of El Petén, Guatemala, El Mirador Basin

Catalogue Raisonné

Kerr 1228


12.5 x 11.4 cm (4 15/16 x 4 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware; red and black on cream slip paint

Not On View





Codex-style vase with three nubbin supports. Narrative scene depicts a dancing agouti-jaguar supernatural (a “way”) holding a disembodied human head. A waterbird with Muan bird feathers and a serpent entwined around its neck perches atop a supine human whose closed eyes and distended abdomin indicate his deceased status. Two short hieroglyphic texts name the two supernaturals. The imagery has been heavily restored in modern times although the new lines seem to follow closely the original imagery. A shiny coating of modern origin covers the vessel’s surface and gives it a yellowish-brown surface color.


Between about 1974 and 1981, probably purchased in Guatemala by John B. Fulling (b. 1924 – d. 2005), The Art Collectors of November, Inc., Pompano Beach, FL; May 20, 1987, sold by John B. Fulling to Landon T. Clay, Boston; 1988, year-end gift of Landon Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 25, 1989)

NOTE: This is one in a group of Maya artifacts (MFA accession nos. 1988.1169 – 1988.1299) known as the “November Collection” after John Fulling’s company, the Art Collectors of November, Inc. John Fulling sold this group of objects to MFA donor Landon Clay in 1987, and they were given to the Museum the following year.
Evidence suggests that John Fulling built the November Collection from sources in Guatemala between 1974 and 1981. Only a portion of what he acquired during this time came to the MFA in 1988. It is not possible to determine precisely which objects were acquired when or from whom.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay