In the Central Highlands of Costa Rica during this
period there was an emphasis on modeling and
appliqué techniques in ceramic work. The artist
who created this magnificent object certainly
utilized great skill and imagination. It is
composed of two separate sections. The base is a
beautifully formed jaguar. He is the essence of
strength, fierceness and cunning. Considerable
talent was required to model this fine animal. It
is perfectly balanced with its tail curving upwards
and over its back for support. The middle
section lifts as a lid where the incense was
placed. On its crown is an extraordinary alligator.
Its features are highly abstract; yet retain an
almost unnerving realism. The entire object is
like a temple, with an aura of mystery and magic.
Imagine smoke from incense rising like a jungle
mist, interweaving amidst its intricate designs.
Spectacular today as it must have been a
thousand years ago!