Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Offering vessel made of tecalli (in this case calcite onyx), in the form of an ocelot. The eyes and mouth of the vessel were probably once inlaid with semi precious shell or stone and the two depressions hollowed in the back were used to place offerings.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 400-600 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 16 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    McEwan 2009
    This offering vessel represents an ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), the largest of a number of highland species of small wild cat that grows up to a metre in length, has a long tail and fur patterned like that of a jaguar. Fashioned from a single block of prestigious white alabaster, it emphasizes the flat surfaces and formal geometric elements found on many Teotihuacan stone funerary masks, imparting a distinctive "corporate" style to the architecture and sculpture from this site.


  • Bibliography

    • Matos Moctezuma 2002 18 bibliographic details
    • McEwan 2009 p. 110 bibliographic details
    • McEwan 1994 p. 59 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G27/dc4

  • Exhibition history

    1977 London, BM, Animals in Art
    2002, London, Royal Academy, Aztecs
    2003, Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Aztecs

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Am1926C3.22 (old CDMS no.)
COMPASS Title: Calcite onyx ritual container in the form of a feline;An ocelot container;Ritual container in the form of a feline


COMPASS Title: Calcite onyx ritual container in the form of a feline;An ocelot container;Ritual container in the form of a feline

Image description



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Object reference number: ESA14868

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