Pre-Columbian, north coast of Peru, Lambayeque culture, ca. 750 to 1370 CE, probably later in the period. An interesting blackware pottery vessel, mold-formed and highly-burnished, with two chambers. The first depicts a seated male figure with crossed legs on a stable base. He has a stocky build and powerful shoulders, sinuous arms, and a thick neck adorned with a large pendant. He wears a helmet with straps that pass underneath his chin. His face is almost simian, with a jutting chin and mouth. His almond-shaped eyes and their pointed outer corners are characteristic of later Sican/Lambayeque stylization. A wide strap handle extends from the rounded back to the tall, conical spout that rises from the second chamber, which is shaped like a San Pedro cactus. The plant was widely used in ancient Andean cultures to create hallucinogenic drugs used in religious rituals. The symbolism is clear: whatever is in this vessel will put you into an altered state. Size: 8.5" W x 8.5" H (21.6 cm x 21.6 cm)
Provenance: ex-private Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA collection; ex-Noelke Rheinfelden, Germany collection; ex-S. Klass/Paul Diez Canseco private collection
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Strap handle is repaired where it meets the spout. Otherwise in great condition with a few tiny chips, nicks, and scratches commensurate with age and light deposits on the surface.