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Auction archive: Lot number 112

Oddities, curiosities and wonders

Opening
€1
ca. US$1
Price realised:
n. a.
Auction archive: Lot number 112

Oddities, curiosities and wonders

Opening
€1
ca. US$1
Price realised:
n. a.
Beschreibung:

MAYA CEREMONIAL VASE Ulua Valley, Honduras 800-1.000 a.D. 18 x 26 cm, Ø 20 cm An export license is available for this lot Provenance: Reinhard Kristermann collection, New York. References: Pennsylvania museum (Philadelphia), Museum of fine arts (Houston), Cleveland museum (Ohio), Museo nacional de antropologia (Mexico City), “I Maya” Bombiani Editore. Ceremonial mortar in marble, finely embellished with engravings similar to spirals and with figures representing two jaguars, found in Ulua Valley, Honduras. It was used by a restricted ecclesiastical elite, the most important priests, during the prestigious Maya ceremonies of religious rites which took place at the top of the impressive temples. The proposed vase is a wonderful specimen of approximately 200 known (of which about 180 are now exhibited at the most important museums of the world). The main engraving, contained inside two opposite rings representing the snake, is formed by geometrical patterns and surrounds the two images of the Kukulkan25 God. Marks inside the vase show evidence of use presumably by priests during the ceremonies. The jaguar is used symbolically on the handles, so that the priest could be directly in contact with the totem and protector animal. The two Kukulkan’s images (in which is clearly visible his forked tongue, evident reference to the nature of the Snake God with feathers) are set in such a way that one is looking towards the rising sun and the other is looking at the priest celebrating the rite. This particular setting symptomatically reveals the main qualities of the civilizing Divinity, associated with the cycles of time, light, renewal and resurrection. Among the products that appear to have been in high demand were elaborate and intricately carved vessels made of white marble and crafted by skilled artisans in the Ulúa Valley during the first millennium A.D. These containers, representing both cylinders and drums, were decorated with sculpted scrolls or volutes that wrap around the exterior and frame zoomorphic or anthropomorphic figures emerging from opposite sides of the vase to form lugs or handles. The entire scene is often framed by a border of repeating geometric designs, including scales, voussures (repeating half-moon shapes), interlocking keys, and circles. The number of vases of which we know the existence (about 200) and the lapse of time of 200 years when they were created, would suggest a micro skilled tradition, rooted in the lower Ulua Valley during a period of three, four generations. It has been estimated that a master sculptor with 3 or 4 assistants could have produced not more than 50/60 vases during his whole lifetime. Though the Ulua Valley peoples had a considerable intellectual and governmental independence, they had deep contacts with their neighbours Maya.

Auction archive: Lot number 112
Auction:
Datum:
22 Apr 2021
Auction house:
Bertolami Fine Arts
Piazza Lovatelli 1
00186 Rom
Italy
[email protected]
+39 06 3260 9795
+39 06 3230 610
Beschreibung:

MAYA CEREMONIAL VASE Ulua Valley, Honduras 800-1.000 a.D. 18 x 26 cm, Ø 20 cm An export license is available for this lot Provenance: Reinhard Kristermann collection, New York. References: Pennsylvania museum (Philadelphia), Museum of fine arts (Houston), Cleveland museum (Ohio), Museo nacional de antropologia (Mexico City), “I Maya” Bombiani Editore. Ceremonial mortar in marble, finely embellished with engravings similar to spirals and with figures representing two jaguars, found in Ulua Valley, Honduras. It was used by a restricted ecclesiastical elite, the most important priests, during the prestigious Maya ceremonies of religious rites which took place at the top of the impressive temples. The proposed vase is a wonderful specimen of approximately 200 known (of which about 180 are now exhibited at the most important museums of the world). The main engraving, contained inside two opposite rings representing the snake, is formed by geometrical patterns and surrounds the two images of the Kukulkan25 God. Marks inside the vase show evidence of use presumably by priests during the ceremonies. The jaguar is used symbolically on the handles, so that the priest could be directly in contact with the totem and protector animal. The two Kukulkan’s images (in which is clearly visible his forked tongue, evident reference to the nature of the Snake God with feathers) are set in such a way that one is looking towards the rising sun and the other is looking at the priest celebrating the rite. This particular setting symptomatically reveals the main qualities of the civilizing Divinity, associated with the cycles of time, light, renewal and resurrection. Among the products that appear to have been in high demand were elaborate and intricately carved vessels made of white marble and crafted by skilled artisans in the Ulúa Valley during the first millennium A.D. These containers, representing both cylinders and drums, were decorated with sculpted scrolls or volutes that wrap around the exterior and frame zoomorphic or anthropomorphic figures emerging from opposite sides of the vase to form lugs or handles. The entire scene is often framed by a border of repeating geometric designs, including scales, voussures (repeating half-moon shapes), interlocking keys, and circles. The number of vases of which we know the existence (about 200) and the lapse of time of 200 years when they were created, would suggest a micro skilled tradition, rooted in the lower Ulua Valley during a period of three, four generations. It has been estimated that a master sculptor with 3 or 4 assistants could have produced not more than 50/60 vases during his whole lifetime. Though the Ulua Valley peoples had a considerable intellectual and governmental independence, they had deep contacts with their neighbours Maya.

Auction archive: Lot number 112
Auction:
Datum:
22 Apr 2021
Auction house:
Bertolami Fine Arts
Piazza Lovatelli 1
00186 Rom
Italy
[email protected]
+39 06 3260 9795
+39 06 3230 610
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