"A human skull forms the base for this mask of Tezcatlipoca, 'Smoking Mirror', one of four powerful creator gods in the Aztec pantheon. The Aztec believed that the defeat of Quetzalcoatl by Tezcatlipoca marked the beginning of the current era of creation. The emblem of Tezcatlipoca, an obsidian mirror, symbolises his control over the hidden forces of creation and destruction. The mask is decorated with a mosaic of turquoise, lignite and shell; the eyes have been made from polished iron pyrites. The skull was probably tied around the waist by the leather straps as indicated in the Codex image."
"This print has no text and offers no clues when or where it was published. It was evidently supplied in large numbers, and a stencil was specially cut to black out the background. What was it made for? The most likely answer seems to be that it was used as a warning sign to paste on the door of a house where someone was suffering from the plague or some other dangerously infectious disease." C. 1750s