Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, Nazca, ca. 200 to 500 CE. A wonderful pottery vessel with a round but stable base, a broad body that tapers to form the corseted neck, and a flared rim surrounding the deep interior cavity. The exterior surfaces are highly burnished and provide a smooth ground atop which a highly stylized, disembodied trophy head is illustrated. The expressive countenance bears white, almond-shaped eyes within black facial streaks, a triangular nose in high relief, full lips flanked with triangular facial scars, and a pair of bifurcated eyebrows. The forehead is lined with a pair of Z-filled headbands that enclose a brown-and-white zigzagging headband. A neatly illustrated example of fine Nazca artistry! Lucite display stand for photography purposes only. Size: 5.5" W x 6.8" H (14 cm x 17.3 cm)
In the Nazca culture and other ancient Peruvian cultures, the decapitation and ritual use of human heads was common practice. Various pieces of pottery and painted art depicting mythical figures and kings holding trophy heads or in the presence of trophy heads have been unearthed at Nazca archaeological sites. This vessel, showing an unassociated trophy head with no one holding it, is a style of depiction common only to Nazca art. Archaeological evidence from the 20th century shows that these stylized paintings are based on real rituals - over one hundred mummified trophy heads have been found from Nazca excavations, almost all with a puncture to the front of the skull for suspension.
Provenance: ex-private Hans Juergen Westermann collection, Germany, acquired in the 1950s to 1960s
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.
Professionally repaired from multiple pieces, with restoration to nose and along some areas of body, neck, and rim, and resurfacing with overpainting along new material and break lines. Abrasions and minor pitting to base, body, neck, rim, and interior, with fading and touch-up painting to some areas of original pigment. Light earthen deposits and traces of original pigment throughout. Old inventory label beneath base.