Old Men Emerging from Flowers Artist: Unknown

A.D. 600–900

Art of the Ancient Americas

On view, 1st floor, Art of the Ancient Americas

Seemingly a nearly identical pair, two tiny, shriveled, bald, old men emerge from the center of a blossom. A third such male and a beautiful young female at the National Museum of the American Indian complete a set of four flowers, perhaps once sewn to the clothing or headdress of a high-ranking individual.


Ceramic with pigment


1 3/4 in. (4.5 cm)
a: 1 9/16 × 1 15/16 × 2 3/16 in. (3.9 × 5 × 5.5 cm)
b: 1 3/4 × 2 1/16 × 1 13/16 in. (4.4 × 5.3 × 4.6 cm)

Credit Line

Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903, Fund

Accession Number



Late Classic Period


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn.; gift in 1973 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • George A. Kubler, ed., Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 135, 297, no. 299–300, fig. 152
  • Christopher Corson, Maya Anthropomorphic Figurines from Jaina Island, Campeche (Ramona, Calif.: Ballena Press, 1976),
  • Michael D. Coe, "Three Maya Figurines from Jaina Island," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 35, no. 2 (Spring 1975), 25, ill
  • "Acquisitions, 1973," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 35, no. 1 (Summer 1974), 76
  • Elizabeth Kennedy Easby and John F. Scott, Before Cortés, Sculpture of Middle America: A Centennial Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from September 30, 1970 through January 3, 1971, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970),
  • "New Acquisitions Issue," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 24, no. 1 (April 1958), 19,21, fig. 9
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

human figures (visual works), mythology

Technical metadata and APIs


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