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Lot 407, Auction 3/25/2019: Pre-Columbian Paracas Polychrome Bowl

Pre-Columbian, Peru, Paracas culture, ca. 800 to 100 BCE. A low, round bowl with a dramatically corseted shoulder. Around much of the upper body is a register of deep yellow and bright red bands, each delineated by three straight edges and one jagged, lightning-strike-shaped edge. The lower body and one part of the upper body is black, as is the interior. Size: 7.75" W x 3" H (19.7 cm x 7.6 cm)

Little is known about the Paracas people, and what little we do know comes from a 1920s archaeological excavation of the Paracas Cavernas, shaft tombs containing multiple burials, many of which contained ceramics like this one, probably placed there to hold offerings or provision the dead in the afterlife. Paracas iconography is linear and stylistic, based on formal figures whose identity is often mysterious.

Condition: Repair on underside. Some losses to pigment and surface pitting.

Provenance: Whisnant Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana, acquired over twenty years ago

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