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Polychrome Tripod Plate

Maya, Late Classic
600-700 CE
8.26 cm x 34.29 cm (3 1/4 in. x 13 1/2 in.)

On view


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This tripod plate has three hollow legs with clay pellets for support; the pattern of decoration includes overall palette of red and black on orange slip. The exterior of the sides is painted with a pattern of red lines that looks like a net or a mat; its interior is painted with red and black over an orange slip. The top of the lip is decorated with a red band interrupted by four sets of three black rectangles. The interior of the sides is black except for six cartouches framed by red lines and filled with pseudoglyphs. The scene on the bottom is outlined by a red line and depicts a single anthropomorphic character.
The shape and decoration of the plate conform to the definition of the Cui Orange– polychrome type (Cui Variety) of western parts of the states of Campeche and Yucatan in Mexico. The individual depicted here has his knees bent and feet flexed fully backward. His arms extend forward in a posture that suggests he may be flying or falling facedown. He wears a black loincloth, a beaded necklace, and a headdress with a flower at the front and a bundle of feathers at the back. His arms and legs are inscribed with a /KAB/ or “Caban” motif, and his face is painted with two vertical black stripes that cross his eyes and it might represent a deity.

Benson, Elizabeth P. 1969 Supplement to the Handbook of the Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art. Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D. C., cat. 440.

Benson, Elizabeth P. 1977 Maya Bowl from the Dumbarton Oaks Collections. Studio Potter 6 (1):46-47.

Bliss, Robert Woods 1957 Pre-Columbian Art: The Robert Woods Bliss Collection. Text and Critical Analyses by S. K. Lothrop, Joy Mahler and William F. Foshag. Phaidon, New York. p. 256, cat. 132, pl. 79.

Bliss, Robert Woods 1959 Pre-Columbian Art: The Robert Woods Bliss Collection. 2nd ed. Text and Critical Analyses by S. K. Lothrop, Joy Mahler and William F. Foshag. Phaidon, London. p. 256, cat. 132, pl. 79.

Coe, Michael D. 1975 Classic Maya Pottery at Dumbarton Oaks. Dumbarton Oaks Trustees for Harvard University, Washington. p. 27, cat. 17, cover.

Disselhoff, Hans Dietrich and Sigvald Linné 1960 The Art of Ancient America: Civilizations of Central and South America. Art of the World, Non-European Cultures: The Historical, Sociological and Religious Backgrounds. Crown Publishers, New York. p. 111, fig. 62.

Graham, Ian 1971 The Art of Maya Hieroglyphic Writing; January 28-March 28, 1971; an Exhibition in the Art Gallery, Center for Inter-American Relations. Harvard University Printing Office, Cambridge. p. 41, fig. 22.

Masuda, Yoshio 1981 Kodai Amerika No Isan. Shinch?sha Kodai Bijutsukan; 14. Kabushiki Kaisha Shinch?sha, Tokyo. pl. 36.

Moll, Roberto García 1994 Los Mayas: Arte Y Memoria. In Mexico En El Mundo De Las Colecciones De Arte, María Luisa Sabau García, María Olga Sáenz González and Beatriz de la Fuente, eds., pp. 3-81. vol. Mesoamerica 2. Grubo Azabache, Mexico City. p. 63.

Nicholson, Irene 1967 Mexican and Central American Mythology. Hamlyn, London. p. 128.

Pillsbury, Joanne, Miriam Doutriaux, Reiko Ishihara-Brito and Alexandre Tokovinine (EDS.) 2012 Ancient Maya Art at Dumbarton Oaks. Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks, Number 4. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., p. 361-365, pl. 66, fig. 197 (bottom).

Von Winning, Hasso and Alfred Stendahl 1968 Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America. H.N. Abrams, New York.

Exhibition History
"The Art of Maya Hieroglyphic Writing", Art Gallery of the Center for Inter-American Relations, New York, NY, 1/29 - 3/31/1971; Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 5/1/ - 6/30/1971 (catalogue # 22).

Acquisition History
Gift to Dumbarton Oaks by Alphonse Jax, New York (dealer), 1966.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Pre-Columbian Collection, Washington, DC.

Anthropomorphic | Mayas