MAYA CARVED VASE, CHOCHOLÁ STYLE LATE CLASSIC, CIRCA AD 550 - 950
Diameter: 4 ¾ in (12.2 cm)
Fine modelling overall. With a clean break and repair in 3 areas.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Musée Barbier-Mueller, Geneva, Art de l’Amérique précolombienne, Fall, 1981
Musée Barbier-Mueller, Geneva, January 30-March 24, 1992
Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, April 11-June 15, 1992
Fondation la Caixa, Barcelona, Art millénaire des Amériques: de la découverte à l’admiration, 1492-1992, November 25, 1992-January 24, 1993
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Arte pré-colombiana da colecção Barbier-Mueller, March 23-June 4, 1995
Musée Rath, Geneva, Mexique, terre des dieux. Trésors de l’art précolombien, October 8, 1998-January 24, 1999
Museu Barbier-Mueller d'Art Precolombí, Barcelona, October 30, 2003-April 15, 2004
Fondation de l’Hermitage, Lausanne, Trésors de la céramique précolombienne du Museo Barbier-Mueller de Arte Precolombino de Barcelona, June 25-October 24, 2004
The carved vessels of the Chocholá style from the western Yucatan region are renown for their deeply sculpted and refined style reminiscent of the master carving of important stone reliefs. Working in leather-hard clay, the artist modeled a sensitive portrait of a young woman in the portal of a waterlily cartouche. Her diminutive left hand holds the edge of the cartouche as if she is leaning outward, and her tiny right hand is shown before her face grasping the vegetal frond incised in the background. The edges of the cartouche taper into billowing wisps as if it is floating on the surface of the vase. The waterlily cartouche is a window into the mythical scenes of the watery underworld.
The woman's profile shows her high cheekbones, almond-shaped eye and sloping forehead with high plaits of her coiffure wrapped by textured headbands. She wears a finely woven net quechquemitl, bead necklace and large ear ornament with tubular extension. The reverse is deeply carved with a rectangular panel of nine glyphs in three columns, referring to "his/her cup", followed by a long name phrase including reference to a location, and "is its holy name".
For similar vessels of the Chocholá style, see Coe, The Maya Scribe, New York, 1973, nos. 53-65, particularly no. 61, for the flat-bottomed vase in the Art Institute of Chicago (1969.241).