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Art of the Ancient Americas
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Artist: Unknown

Knotted Rattlesnake


Volcanic stone with traces of pigment

15.24 × 40.64 × 35.56 cm (6 × 16 × 14 in.)
Gift of Mark Landrum, B.A. 1961
On view
Mexico, Aztec
Late Postclassic Period

Bought from Douglas Dawson Ethnographic Arts, Chicago Ill. May 24, 2006.
Collected by Harold Thomas of California in the 1950s. Thomas was an electrical engineer who was working on the electrical grid and power plants in Mexico City. It is likely that the projects that Thomas oversaw unearthed this as well as numerous other objects at that time. This piece has been in the possession of Thomas' heirs since he acquired it in the 1950s.


Felipe Solis, ed., The Aztec Empire, Curated by Felipe Solis, exh. cat. (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2004), 76, no. 7, .

“Acquisitions July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pub_Bull_acquisitions_2016.pdf (accessed December 1, 2016).

Lily Higgins, “Sculpting Nature: An Aztec Rattlesnake in Stone,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2017): 78, fig. 1.

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 such records is ongoing.