Whistle in the Form of an Anthropomorphic Toad
Arts of the Americas
The Maya blue pigment on these figurines is still vibrant after fifteen hundred years. The two male figures represent members of the Maya royal court, as indicated by their elaborate garments and ornaments. The warrior wears a shell necklace, towering helmet-headdress and ear-spools; the nobleman wears a wide collar with long flaps, and a detachable bird-shaped headdress with feathered plumes. The whistle in the form of a composite monkey-human figure, or a man wearing a monkey mask, may refer to the patron god of artists, given the ability of monkeys to imitate what they see, as artists do.
5 x 2 x 1 1/2 in. (12.7 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Gift in memory of Frederic Zeller
Prior to 1963, provenance not yet documented; by 1963, acquired by Ricardo Hecht of Mexico City, Mexico; 1963, purchased from Ricardo Hecht by Frederic Zeller of Sag Harbor, NY; 1994, gift of Frederic Zeller to Susan Kennedy Zeller of Sag Harbor, NY, by inheritance; 2009, gift of Susan Kennedy Zeller to the Brooklyn Museum.
Hollow whistle figurine (Jaina style) with the head or mask of a toad. The figure is sitting with knees flexed upwards. The arms are also flexed upwards with hands over the chest. The figure's left palm is open and in his right hand is a rattle. Ornaments include a bar pectoral, bracelets of rectangular plates, and a loincloth (maxtlatl). The mouth piece at the back serves as a third support leg. There is blue pigment on the figure's head, face, pectoral, and bracelets. There is also residue of white pigment all over.
This item is not on view
Maya. Whistle in the Form of an Anthropomorphic Toad, 600-900. Ceramic, pigment, 5 x 2 x 1 1/2 in. (12.7 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift in memory of Frederic Zeller, 2009.2.21. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2009.2.21_overall_PS11.jpg)
overall, 2009.2.21_overall_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
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