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Hourglass-shaped goblets

Aztec/Mexica hourglass ceramic goblets

Mexica (Aztec) hourglass-shaped goblets, c.1500, ceramic and paint, 46 (L) and 53 (R) cms. high, Dirección de Salvamento Arqueológico, Mexico City.

These goblets were recently discovered in the Palacio Nacional of Mexico City, in the Empress Chapel now occupied by the Financial Records Library... This was the site of the most important palace of Tenochtitlan, known as Moctezuma’s New Houses... These hourglass-shaped pieces are painted with a layer of red pigment and decorated with white vertical bands. Although they take the form of goblets, they may also have been used to burn aromatic resins. Their decoration may be associated with Xipe Totec (‘our flayed lord’), the god of war and the renewal of nature.

From ‘Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler’, British Museum Catalogue, 2009, p. 115.

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore

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