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Art of the Ancient Americas
Artist: Unknown

Vessel and Lid with Fantastic Reptile



Bowl or base: 12.1 cm (4 3/4 in.)
other (Lid): 29.2 cm(11 1/2 in.)
Bowl plus lid-Overall: 41.3 × 27 cm (16 1/4 × 10 5/8 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Olsen
Plumes of smoke enveloped the snarling alligator when incense was burned inside this vessel. The artist belted the body of the incensario with appliquéd pellets reminiscent of alligator hide.
Geography Costa Rica
Costa Rica, Guanacaste, Period VI
Containers - Ceramics

Alfred Stendahl (1915–2010), Los Angeles, June 27, 1956; Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn.; gift in 1959 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, 26, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1960), 42.

George A. Kubler, ed., Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 192–93, 365, no. 424, 425, fig. 250.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 321, ill.

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.