Incense burner top

Middle Classic Period
A.D. 400–650

Object Place: Department of Tiquisate, Guatemala, Pacific Coast


48.26 x 43.18 x 41.91 cm (19 x 17 x 16 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: yellow, red, and white paint

Not On View





Tall pedestaled incense burner with modeled imagery featuring an open-mouthed zoomorph resembling a leaf-nosed bat with features also recalling theTeotihuacan-style butterfly associated with warrior images. Daubs of yellow paint decorate the bat’s wide eye orbits and snout. Inside the maw is a modeled human head with white-painted face, two small beads suspended below the nose, circular earflares and a helmet-like head wrap embellished with rows of small disks.


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