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Vessel with an Enthroned Lord and Seated Figure, A.D. 765


This superbly incised Maya vessel depicts a young lord seated upon a low, wooden-basketry throne draped with a fringed jaguar skin. He is elaborately dressed in a luxurious fur or feather cape and wears a feathered headdress inside of which is perched a stuffed monkey. The lord gestures eloquently with both hands toward the figure seated cross-legged before him on the floor, who is more simply clad in a loincloth with a broad sash, a scarf tied around his neck, and a brimmed hat topped with six feathers. His left arm crosses over his right shoulder in a gesture of loyalty, obedience, and submission to the lord.

The vessel is decorated in the rare incised technique typical of the area around the city of Xcalumkín, in the Puuc region of northern Campeche, in the Late Classic period. According to one interpretation, the scene presents a young lord, the son of the reigning king of Xcalumkín. The secondary figure is identified by his plumed sombrero as a sahal (military chief, usually a close relative of the ruler), to whom the young lord is giving instructions.



Private trust, Edward and Vivian Merrin, New York, since mid-1960s;

(The Merrin Gallery, New York);

purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 2000.

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