Monday, June 2, 2008

Maya objects?

The museum has a handful of what may or may not be Mayan artifacts. Or maybe Aztec. The transfer documents say Aztec. Pictured below are a cylinder seal and a figural whistle (click on them to see larger versions). Problem is, I don't know much about these artifacts. And I would like to know more. Can anyone out there in internet-land recommend a good resource on Mayan and/or Aztec ceramics? Bonus points if it addresses the issue of reproductions and fakes, since this is a distinct possibility.

Mayan artifacts?
That orange pigment appears to be much more modern than the rest of the object.

Mayan artifacts?
Although I am not a subject expert, the markings on this cylinder do not look like the Maya hieroglyphs with which I am familiar, but the overall look of the piece is aged.

Even if it turns out that some or all of our Mayan/Aztec/unknown pieces are fakes and reproductions, they are very neat and may have some useful value as "antique fakes" (which is a term I just made up, meaning reproductions from several decades ago).

1 comment:

May said...

When I did my thesis about Mayan art in the Washington Foundation collection, I started out by getting a whole lot of pre-columbian art books and looking for similarities. Odds are, you can find some piece or other that is similar enough to what you have to put you on the right track. That's how it worked for me!

Good luck!