Lot 144
  • 144

Maya Polychrome Tripod Plate Late Classic, Circa AD 550-950

15,000 - 20,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • ceramic
  • Diameter: 13 3/4 in (34.9 cm)


Douglas Hague, California, active in the 1960-1970s
Raphael Moses, Colorado, acquired from the above
Sotheby's, New York, May 2001, lot 527, consigned by the above
Private Collection, Florida, acquired at the above auction

Catalogue Note

The "Tikal Dancer" style is one of the most elegant and graceful depictions of Maya court figures. They are typically attired in a full panache of feathers that fan outward given the twirling postures. Here the dancer has extremely elongated legs pressed close together and leans to his right with hands in specific dance gestures, the large feathered back panel has long stiff plumes extending on each side, and wears a striped skirt. His forehead is of the tonsured style of the maize god, adorned with a beaded headdress. The underside of the plate is decorated with a sharply cut step-fret basal rim and has rattle feet.

The "Tikal dancer" plates share a consistent style of painting but the variations of the figures and plate decoration attest to the local workshops creating their own interpretations, further supported by the varying chemical signatures in the clay of different plates. For examples of the Tikal dancer see Reents-Budet, Painting the Maya Universe, Durham, 1994, pp. 196-199, pls. 5.35-5.39.