Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. An impressive hand-modeled redware seated musician, holding a large conch shell instrument in his left hand and a fan or rasp in his right. Among the modeled pottery figures created by ancient West Mexican artisans are wonderful conch shell percussionists as well as 'horn' players who blew through conch shells to produce sonorous effects for entertainment and/or ritualistic purposes. This figure presents a soulful visage as if in a trancelike state - 'feeling' the spiritual effect of the music; notice his closed coffee bean shaped eyes, noble nose, and pursed lips. Clearly a person of significance, he is highly decorated - wearing a cross-hatched headband featuring a large clamshell ornament, pierced ears that once held feathers or other decorative additions, as well as armbands, garments, and/or body paint or tattoos upon his torso created via the negative resist technique. A wonderful example with an attractive burnished finish and mesmerizing form. Size: 13" W x 14.5" H (33 cm x 36.8 cm)
See a similar example in "Sculpture of Ancient West Mexico: Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima" (Michael Kan, Clement Meighan, H.B. Nicholson, LA County Museum of Art, 1989) - figure 103b, page 71.
Provenance: private Pacific Palisades, California, USA collection; ex private Arizona, USA collection, 1965
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Minor surface wear with slight abrasions to the torso, conch shell, nose, and ears as shown. A very small area of repair and restoration to the conch shell. Surface is rich with liberal manganese deposits.