Collection Online
Jaguar-lidded bowl
pigments, earthenware
(a-b) 27.8 × 34.0 cm diameter (overall)
Place/s of Execution
Tikal, Peten, Guatemala
Accession Number
Pre-Columbian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through the NGV Foundation by John Warner, Founder Benefactor, 2002
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
The Ancient World
Level 2, NGV International
The most unusual feature of this basal-flange bowl is its lid straddled with a foreshortened jaguar whose head is modelled three dimensionally. The jaguar, in this context, possibly represents the Jaguar God of the Underworld, a Maya deity who was the aspect of the sun when the sun had set and had departed from the night sky. The jaguar was particularly associated with Tikal, of which he may have been the patron, in the Early Classic period, the date and provenance of this bowl. Lidded vessels such as this were placed in the tombs belonging to members of the ruling elite and would have contained food for the owner to consume on the journey through the Underworld and into the afterlife.