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Incensario Lid

Arts of the Americas

This elaborate lid from a ceremonial incensario (incense burner) depicts the head and torso of a warrior wearing a large headdress, nose plaque, and earplugs. He holds a bundle of spear ends in his right hand and a knife in his left. Three spear-end bundles also adorn the headdress.

In 500 C.E. Teotihuacan, in central Mexico, was one of the largest cities in the world, with an estimated population of 150,000. Teotihuacan’s culture, religion, and art spread throughout Mexico and Central America. This lid, found more than seven hundred miles away, represents a local version of the Teotihuacan prototype.
MEDIUM Ceramic, pigment
DATES 400–700 C.E.
PERIOD Classical Period
DIMENSIONS 18 1/8 x 19 1/2 x 9 1/4in. (46 x 49.5 x 23.5cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Danziger
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Elaborate incensario or incense burner lid in the form of a male bust wearing a spectacular headdress with three discs, two feathered quetzal eyes and three bundles of spear ends. The figure wears large circular ear spools and a removable trapezoidal talud-tablero style nose ornament. He carries a blade-like object in the left hand and a bundle of spear ends in the right, suggesting a warrior figure. White, buff, yellow, ochre and red paint are still visible throughout the piece.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Teotihuacan style. Incensario Lid, 400–700 C.E. Ceramic, pigment, 18 1/8 x 19 1/2 x 9 1/4in. (46 x 49.5 x 23.5cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Danziger, 75.148. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 75.148_bw.jpg)
IMAGE detail, 75.148_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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