Pre-Columbian, northern coast of Peru, Inca Empire, ca. 1200 to 1500 CE. A gorgeous bowl standing on a short flaring pedestal, made of hammered sheet silver so delicately worked that the piece is deceptively light when held. The rounded body of the vessel curves inward around the mouth, with a vertical, narrow rim rising from above the curve. The pedestal foot is hollow, made from a curled sheet of silver, with a flat lip to stabilize it. There is no decoration on the piece, but the hammered face gives it a lightly textured surface that catches the light in interesting ways. Size: 5.55" W x 4.05" H (14.1 cm x 10.3 cm); 134.6 gramsThe Inca are noted for their uniform vessel styles - the little variation present suggests an almost corporate style, dictated from above to workshops throughout the Empire. The pedestal base pot is one of those styles, and it was replicated in ceramic, and, much less commonly, in copper, silver, and gold. Most at one time had a fitted lid; some had handles projecting from their sides. They were used for food preparation, and are found throughout the Incan provinces, likely serving as a portable cooking vessel. The silver version - as seen here - was used for elaborate feasts that reinforced the status of the elites who could afford to sponsor them. Silver, mostly mined in northern Chile, had to make an arduous trade journey to reach Incan workshops, representing a significant cost. It was worth it to demonstrate wealth and power - imagine how beautiful this piece would look piled high with carefully prepared, rich food. Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex Butterfields 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 winning bids. We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience. #131896
Light patina on surface. Slight bending to form as the silver is quite thin. Tiny corroded area on the underside, with an old collection sticker taped to the interior of the foot.