Pre-Columbian, north coast Peru, Moche, late Phase III to early Phase IV, ca. 450 to 550 CE. A beautiful pottery stirrup vessel featuring the likeness of the mythological zoomorphic amalgamation known as the Strombus Monster on each hemisphere. Each instance of the red-painted chimeric Strombus Monster exhibits a finely striated, feline-form body with serrations lining the spine and tail, powerful limbs bent in the middle, and a sinuous, segmented tail terminating in a fork-tongued serpentine head. The backward-facing feline head is of a larger size with a tongue projecting out from its fanged maw, C-shaped facial scarifications, and spiral-tipped tendrils emanating from atop its snout and brow. The creamy beige body provides a bright ground atop which the beasts are illustrated, and a slightly flared spout projects upwards from the center of the stirrup-shaped handle. Size: 6.4" Diameter x 9.1" H (16.3 cm x 23.1 cm)
Cf. Donnan, Christopher B. and Donna McClelland. "Moche Fineline Painting: Its Evolution and Its Artists." UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles, California, 1999, p. 87, fig. 4.25.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private Hans Juergen Westermann collection, Germany, collected from the 1950s to the 1960s
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Professional repair and restoration to one upper area of handle, with nearly invisible resurfacing and overpainting along new material and break lines. Minor abrasions to base, body, handle, and spout with fading to original pigment in some areas. Great preservation to original pigment across body.