Pre-Columbian, Northern Peru, Inca, ca. 1400 to 1532 CE. A large terracotta aryballos-shaped vessel known as an urpu, a classic form that was developed and used only by the Inca in the Americas. This urpu has a wide and conical base, a piriform body, with two applied strap handles, a protruding lug, a tubular neck, and a flared rim with twin perforated loops. This urpu was designed to be fired with a black finish but was misfired in the kiln giving it a red and black appearance. The neck is black with faint traces of white bands, and the body has faint traces of a triangular and linear motifs. A large and fine example of a traditional urpu vessel! Size: 8.5" W x 11" H (21.6 cm x 27.9 cm); 11.75" H (29.8 cm) on included custom stand.
Urpus were used for transporting and storing liquids such as chicha, fermented corn beer, and the conical base enabled the vessel to be pushed into sand or soft earth to stand upright. When alpacas were overburdened, human porters carried the urpu vessels on their backs. The lugs below the rim secured a cloth or skin cover over the mouth to prevent spillage. The small lug on below the neck would also secure a strap that ran through the handles and tied the vessel to the porter’s back.
Provenance: ex-private Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA collection, acquired October 3rd, 2017; ex-Artemis Gallery; USA, ex Dorje Strunk collection, Hawaii, ex-Baker collection, New Mexico before 2005
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.
Small abrasion and chip to handle. Misfired thus creating a red rather than black finish (a happy accident) and a slight depression to one side. Otherwise, intact and generally excellent.