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Chavin Blackware Stirrup Vessel with Face, ex-Sotheby's

Pre-Columbian, Peru, Chavin, ca. 900 to 200 BCE. A large blackware stirrup vessel - the drum-shaped body presenting a skillfully carved and modeled visage comprised of almond-shaped eyes with protruding centers, a relatively naturalistic nose also in low relief, an incised slit mouth with incised laugh/jowel lines, and applied ears all framed by the outline for his hairline or headdress. A stirrup spout vessel like this one would have been mold-made and then detailed by hand. Given its size and fine decoration, this vessel was likely created to hold fermented corn beer or chicha cherished by the ancients of the Chavin culture - "the mother civilization of the Andes" that is oftentimes compared to the Olmec in Mexico in terms of artistic inspiration for later periods. Size: 5.125" in diameter x 8" H (13 cm x 20.3 cm)

Condition: Chips to rim and left ear of face. Scuffs and surface nicks to areas of the body. Abrasions to underside. A few bits of wax on underside that could easily be removed. Some areas of crazing to glaze add to its charm.

Provenance: ex-private T.S. collection, San Diego County, California, USA, acquired between 25 and 40 years ago; ex-Sotheby's - A label for Sotheby's arcade auction (431/3) accompanies the piece.

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