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Art of the Ancient Americas
Artist: Unknown

Incense Burner

100 B.C.–A.D. 250

Ceramic

50.8 × 22.86 × 22.86 cm (20 × 9 × 9 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Olsen
1958.14.21
Colima is far to the northwest of the Valley of Mexico. Yet in this early incense burner, the local rain god shares his Valley cousin’s aspect. His eyes are Tlaloc’s goggles, and serpents in his headdress entwine and join to form the handle of the vessel.
Geography: 
Made in Mexico
Status: 
Not on view
Culture: 
Mexico, Colima
Period: 
Protoclassic Period
Classification: 
Containers - Ceramics
Bibliography: 

Salvador Toscano and Federico Canessi, Arte Precolombino del Occidente de Mexico (Mexico City: Dirección General de Educación Extra-Escolar y Estética, 1946).

Peter T. Furst, West Mexican Art: Secular or Sacred? The Iconography of Middle American Sculpture (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973).

Betty Bell, ed., The Archaeology of West Mexico (Ajijic, Mexico: West Mexican Society for Advanced Study, 1974).

Isabel Kelly, “Seven Colima Tombs: An Interpretation of Ceramic Content,” Studies in Ancient Mesoamerica 3 (1978): 1–26.

Jacki Gallagher, Companions of the Dead: Tomb Sculpture from Ancient West Mexico, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Fowler Museum at UCLA, 1983).

George A. Kubler, ed., Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 160–61, 328, no. 353, fig. 194.

Michael Kan, Clement W. Meighan, and Henry B. Nicholson, Sculpture of Ancient West Mexico: Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, 2, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989), 172, fig. 196.

Helen Pollard, “Recent Research in West Mexican Archaeology,” Journal of Archeological Research 5 (1997).

Richard F. Townsend, ed., Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past, exh. cat. (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998).

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.