Ear Ornament Artist: Unknown

A.D. 50–600

Art of the Ancient Americas

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

A bearded skeletal monster encases a human face, which is little more than eyes, mouth, and a filed tooth, on this ear flare. The man's breath escapes in a long scroll, as if to reassure us that he is indeed alive. Sutures mark the bones of the monster's skull. This and 1998.91.1 form a pair to be used as ear flares or perhaps ornamentation for a headdress.


Carved and incised conch shell with cinnabar


2 × 1 5/8 in. (5.1 × 4.1 cm)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Allen Wardwell, B.A. 1957, Fund

Accession Number



Early 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.


  • Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 168–69, fig. 169.
  • "Acquisitions 1991," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1992): 163, ill.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

ear ornaments, human figures (visual works)

Technical metadata and APIs


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