Vessel and Lid with Fantastic Reptile Artist: Unknown


Art of the Ancient Americas

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.




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.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Olsen

Accession Number



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.



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.

  • Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 321, ill.
  • 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.
  • Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, 26, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1960), 42.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

animal art, ceremonial objects, vessels



Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.