Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The Americas’ First Peoples, 4000 B.C.E.–1521 C.E.
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 spearend 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.
18 1/8 x 19 1/2 x 9 1/4in. (46 x 49.5 x 23.5cm) (show scale)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Danziger
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Teotihuacan. 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)
detail, 75.148_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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 trapazoidal 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.
Teotihuacan-style incense burners usually consist of two basic sections: an hourglass-shaped base (missing) and an elaborate chimney lid. Incense burners from Escuintla, Guatemala generally have unadorned bases and elaborate lids. The presence of Teotihuacan-style incensarios on Guatemala's Pacific coast (about 900 miles away from the Valley of Mexico), attest to the success of Teotihuacan expansion throughout Central America. The original molds for the decorative elements were probably brought south from Central Mexico, but assembled in a local manner typical of Escuintla.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.