Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 42

Ɵ Grotesque creatures Maya culture, Island of...

Result :
Not available
Estimate :
Subscribers only

Ɵ Grotesque creatures Maya culture, Island of Jaina, Mexico Late Classic, 600-900 A.D. Ceramic and blue pigment remains H. 15.2 cm Maya (Jaina) double figure of supernatural creature carrying a deity, buffware ceramic with blue pigment H. 6 in. Provenance : - Acquired by current owner in 1994 - Marisol Stokes, Nyack, acquired by inheritance in 1989 - Agueda Hernandez Herrero, Mexico City, acquired in the 1970s Published by - Graulich, Michel and Lin Crocker, Unpublished Masterpieces of Pre-Columbian Art, ARTS 135, Paris, 1985, fig. 409. This ceramic statuette, featuring two grotesque figures, is a figurine in the so-called "Jaina" style, named after an island site in the present-day Mexican state of Campeche, where numerous examples have been found in an excellent state of preservation (having been part of funeral trousseaux, which was not usually the case). These "Jaina" statuettes are the most elegant type of terracotta figurines produced by the Maya culture and, like the extraordinary polychrome pottery belonging to the Tepeu ceramic sphere, are characteristic of the recent Classic period (between the late 6th and 9th centuries). A character appearing in the guise of an anthropomorphic deity with crustacean features - perhaps a costumed actor as seen in the theatrical representation painted on the west wall of Room 1 of the Temple of Paintings in Bonampak, in the present-day Mexican state of Chiapas - carries on his back (seated in his mecapal) another grimacing character, who appears as a small man with simian features, wearing a hat. This is a possible burlesque representation in which the relationship with the sacred and ritual is probably not absent. For the ancient Maya, crayfish were animals evoking the aquatic underworld into which members of the elite aspired to be reborn, while monkeys were seen as mischievous humanoid creatures belonging to the world above, whose hands had endowed them with exceptional aptitudes. JMH

Auction's title
Auction's date
Auction location