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Lot 173, Auction 6/26/2017: Fine Jamacoaque Polychrome Pottery Maskette

Pre-Columbian, Ecuador, Jamacoaque (Jama Coaque) culture, ca. 500 CE. A mold-made pottery maskette with what appears to the modern eye to be a leering grin but that is a common expression for this culture, who are known for their advanced mold-made pottery. The distinctive blue-green pigment around the round, sunken eyes, is a color well-known from this area. The cheeks are high and clear; the well-formed nose wears a ring of some kind. The ears are small and well-formed. Only the mouth is open; there are no holes for eyes, suggesting this was never meant to be worn, or at least that the wearer could not see. However, there are holes drilled regularly around the top of the head, so it was worn suspended or sewn onto something originally. Other Jamacoaque terracotta figures indicate that this mask was probably based on an individual, but it may have been something like a death mask (hence, the sunken look). Size: 5.1" W x 4.6" H (13 cm x 11.7 cm)

Condition: Well done and difficult-to-see repair to face; much original pigment remaining

Provenance: Ex-Peter Arnovock collection

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