Cylinder vase

Late Classic Period
A.D. 680–750

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


14.4 x 10.5 cm (5 11/16 x 4 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: black and red on cream slip paint

Not On View





Codex-style vase depicting two male figures seated on jaguar pelt cushions, their large, round eyes implying supernatural status. In front of the cushions sit a lidded cylinder vase and a basket filled with earflares and other items of body adornment. A third figure, a seated female figure with bear breast, interacts with a dancing armadillo impersonator or supernatural. Hieroglyphic texts include the Primary Standard Sequence around the vase’s rim, and short texts in the scene identify the figures and perhaps also the event. Some modern repainting throughout the pictorial and hieroglyphic imagery, although this seems to follow the original imagery.


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