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Nazca / Huari Polychrome Skull Flask

Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, late Nazca to early Wari (Huari), ca. 500 to 700 CE. A charming pottery vessel from the very end of the Nazca empire. The vessel is defined by a stable circular base, an apple-shaped body with a rounded shoulder, and a tall chimney spout with a thick rim. The body depicts a stylized, almost humorous human skull with concave discoid eyes, a protruding nasal bone, red-and-black cheek lines, and thin lips surrounded by black tattooing marks suggestive of fangs. Red paint details the sinuous trails of blood projecting from both above and below the nose, and the colored facial details are presented atop a creamy-white ground. Size: 4.5" W x 5.5" H (11.4 cm x 14 cm).

Condition: Minor chips and abrasions to rim, body, and base, with light darkening to original pigmentation commensurate with age, and light encrustations, otherwise intact and very good. Light earthen deposits and manganese blooms throughout.

Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-Kunst Haus Lempertz, Cologne, Germany (auction 490, 1966, 2014); ex-collection of Prof. Dr. Günther Marschall (1913 - 1997), Hamburg, Germany

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