Late Classic Period
A.D. 650–850

Object Place: Campeche (?), Mexico

Catalogue Raisonné



5.8 x 27.5 cm (2 5/16 x 10 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: red, orange, black and gray on cream slip paint

Not On View





Small plate with image of snail emerging from its shell, the snail and shell embellished by short feathers. The gray slip paint was likely originally green in color. Exterior is unslipped although thin black and orange bands encircle the upper edge just below the rim.

Unique images, such as the feathered snail on this plate, elude understanding. However, the combination of opposites (feathers and the earth-bound snail) was a Mesoamerican method for rendering spiritual subject matter.


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