Product was successfully added to your shopping cart.

Nazca Ceramic Stirrup Vessel with Birds and Fish

Pre-Columbian, Peru, Nazca culture, Phase 3 to 4, ca. 200 to 450 CE. A large, double spouted globular pottery bottle with spouts connected via a flat bridge handle, all painted in a rich polychrome finish, with a wide register featuring two stylized, pelican-like birds, each holding in its large beak a single entrapped fish. Both birds and fish are carefully delineated, the birds in chocolate brown, white, and tan pigments against a red ground, while the fish are white and black with a large, almost comically depicted eye, as if expressing horror at their predicament. Size: 6.1" W x 7" H (15.5 cm x 17.8 cm)

In addition to the fine technique and artistry of this piece, it also boasts rich symbolic content. Birds were associated with the celestial realm and believed to act as messengers between humans and their deities in the Pre-Columbian world. As for the fish, the Nazca of south coast Peru cherished the sea as a rich source of both food and mythology. Hence marine themes are prevalent on their ceramics. It is likely that these birds and fish were connected to myths and folklore about the sea and its power. In contrast to their Moche contemporaries who typically kept to a reduced color palette and explored more modeled forms, Nazca potters reveled in a varied range of colors and a flatter conception of form.

Condition: Repaired and restored from multiple pieces. This is extremely well done and almost impossible to discern, with overpaint underneath the handle. Small losses to tips of the spouts. Nice preservation of pigment with some manganese deposits on surface.

Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all purchases

We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

guaranteed authenticity

in-house shipping

knowledge & experience