Maya Janus Head Vase



500 AD to 800 AD

6 1/4″ tall by 5 1/2″ wide

A beautiful Maya “Janus Head” vase from the Ulua Valley of Honduras. This rare example is thought to represent the duality found in life, such as good versus evil, light and day, life and death. 

It is painted in beautiful colors against a light orange slip. The two faces done in relief have Venus symbols on their foreheads and filed front teeth. The sides are painted with an opossum and the pedestal base has step symbols on it which represent temples. 

Ample manganese deposits suggest this was placed in a royal burial. It is in as found condition, with no breaks, repairs or restoration. 


Vases such as this one were used to drink cacao by the Maya elite and nobility during important feasts and ceremonies. They were also gifted to seal alliances and celebrate milestone events. 

Ex Schuetz collection from Sarasota, Florida. Acquired in the 1980s.




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