Cylinder vase

Late Classic Period
A.D. 650–850

Object Place: southern Guatemala, Alta Verapaz or upper Motagua River Valley


20 x 18 cm (7 7/8 x 7 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: modeled and incised with orange slip paint; traces of stucco and post-fire paint

Not On View





Large cylinder vessel modeled on one side with a three-dimensional rendering of a bat. The other side is decorated with a gouged-incised scene of two dancing male figures separated by a profile rendering of the Mo’-Witz, a mythological sacred mountain place. Portions of the vessel were embellished with stucco and post-fire dark red pigment, small amounts of which survive on the vase’s rim and the face of the modeled bat especially around the eyes.


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