A large Maya stele

Large part of a Maya stele with a decor of the Maya ruler, ‘the fanged deity.’ Late classic, 800 – 900 AD. Guatamala, Limestone. A limestone stele with the depiction of a Late Classic (± 850 – 900) Maya ruler, lord ‘fanged Deity’ This carved “te tun or stone tree’ part of a larger monument, is best categorized with the symbolic programs that mark the end of Maya Classic period florescence. Carved in a deep relief, the exquisite portrait face on this monument is a study of ideal Maya characteristics. The deformed forehead, fleshy nose/prominant nasel ridge, full lips, and strong chin line. Surmounting the lords forehead, is an abbreviated version of the jawless serpent, represented in part by the two flared dangles near the lord’s hairline. This is followed by the fanged deity profile head, with a spangled turban headband that is emblazoned with a waterlily or akbal symbol. The remainder of the headdress is composed of a trifoil element, a “serpent with upturned snout,” fand a plumage of precious feathers. In addition to the elongated tubular ornament, worn at a distinct vertical lord “Fanged Deity” wears a large radiating pectoral across his chest, and in his right hand exaggerated scepter. This monument falls within the range of Classic period artistic canons.


Private collection. Koella  family, Zurich, Swiss foundation of Antique Pre Columbian cultures. Collected between 1960 and 1980. Sold at auction house de Vuyst, Lokeren, Belgium in 1992, lot 224. Private collection Ms. Koch, Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands, through inheritance Marian Koch, 2023, Brocanteur Hr. C. van der Bijl, Spaarndam 2023.

Height 114 cm, width 96 cm.

On request

Good, object comes with custom made stand.