Maya Jaguar Ear Flares
550 AD to 850 AD
4 1/2″ tall by 4″
An extremely rare, matched pair of Maya ceramic ear flares from the Usamacinta River Basin of Tobasco, Mexico. Possibly from Tenosique or Pomona.
These fantastically sculpted pieces cleverly depict jaguars with their limbs wrapped around circular ear flares. They are one of the largest, if not THE largest matched ceramic pair known to exist. The Pomona ear flare is larger at 7″ but it is thought to be ceremonial and would have been too heavy to wear as it was made from jade. It is also not a complete set and missing its match.
The Maya thought the ears were conduits to spiritual energy and were deserving of the finest decorations. This pair would have been brightly painted at one time and worn by an important ruler.
Ex Ancient Art of the New World. Sold in 1991 to the previous owner. Ex. Daniel Michel collection from Chicago. Purchased in the mid 1960s from Judith Small Nash, NYC. He purchased the pair from her gallery, Judith Small Works of Art. A letter signed by Mrs Nash attesting to this provenance accompanies the set.
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