Art of the Ancient Americas
Artist: Unknown

Figure of a Man Holding a Dog and Ball

100 B.C.–A.D. 250

Ceramic with red-orange slip and traces of yellow, black, and white pigment

14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)
Gift of the Olsen Foundation
The male figure of this couple (see 1958.15.17.a) may have been ritually decapitated in antiquity, at the time that he was placed in the shaft tomb chamber. The figure, now with his head restored, was perhaps a surrogate sacrifice intended to placate the spirit of the dead.
West Mexico, Nayarit, Ixtlán del Río Style
Protoclassic Period

Carlebach Gallery, New York, October 1, 1955; Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn.; gift in 1958 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), 182, 345, no. 407, fig. 224.

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.