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Chimu Blackware Stirrup Vessel

Pre-Columbian, Peru, Chimu, ca. 1000 to 1300 CE. A superb burnished blackware, mold-made stirrup vessel, with twin zoomorphic lugs in the form of frogs emerging from each side of the stirrup, and an adorable spider monkey perched upon the stirrup at the juncture to the spout. A vessel like this one may have been used ceremonially for holding chicha (maize beer) and for pouring libations onto the earth or storing them in the grave. A wonderful piece of ancient New World pottery, replete with symbolic iconography (as discussed below), a graceful form, and a lustrous burnished finish. Size: 6.375" W x 8.75" H (16.2 cm x 22.2 cm)

In the Pre-Columbian world frogs were associated with rain, all the sustenance it ensures, and by extension fertility. Their croaking sound was believed to herald rainstorms. In essence, frogs were thought to be powerful rainmakers. Their connotations with fertility stem from the fact that frogs lay thousands of eggs and typically assume a squatting position, as we see here, akin to a woman in childbirth. As for the monkey, understanding simian creatures as mimics of human culture, most ancients of the Americas regarded the monkey as a mediary between man and the supernatural as well. Indeed monkeys have always fascinated humankind, with their zany antics that seem to mirror and at times parody humans.

Condition: Patched probe hole, though well done and nearly invisible. Areas of mineral deposits.

Provenance: Ex-Madrone collection acquired from Artemis Gallery, EX- Saucedo collection acquired prior to 1970

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