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Mochica Stone Face w/ Shell Eye Inlays

Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche, ca. 2nd to 7th century CE. A miniature head carved from a black stone with a dramatic visage comprised of wide-open, iridescent white shell inlaid eyes with black irises/pupils, a pronounced nose, stern mouth, jowl lines, and incised swept-back coiffure. There is a tiny depression at the crown of the head - perhaps a receptacle for an offering a headdress, and the neck is concave. Size: .875" H (2.2 cm); 2.75" H (7 cm) on included custom stand.

The Moche depicted real people on their effigy vessels - in fact, it has been possible to follow the progression of age and rank of several renowned individuals portrayed at different times of their lives in Moche visual culture. One particular face, easily identified because of his cut lip, appears in more than forty Moche pottery vessels. Of course, this piece is not a vessel, and it is not made of pottery. Instead, it is a miniature sculptural stone portrait head. Quite rare!

Condition: Superb. Eye inlays and details are very well preserved.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private Solomon collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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.

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