Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche, Phase III to IV, ca. 400 to 600 CE. A classic Moche stirrup vessel of a rounded body with a tall stirrup spout, all upon a flat base and beautifully decorated via the fineline technique in red and cream. An action-packed scene demands our attention with two opposing figures engaged in dynamic combat. The warrior on the left wears a jaguar-headed tumi-shaped headdress as well as fanciful tunic with a jaguar-headed belt and decorated pants. He is further adorned with face paint and bracelets. Standing in composite profile, the warrior wields a tumi with a jaguar adornment in his right hand, and his left arm is extended toward his enemy with a fist, as if grabbing the spikes of his foe's monster (perhaps jaguar-inspired as well) headdress. Size: 5.75" W x 11.25" H (14.6 cm x 28.6 cm)
But wait, that's not all! The fierce combatant on the right is bending his left knee back, extending his right arm out toward his opponent, and bowing his head, while lifting his large tumi, also adorned by a jaguar head ornament. He too wears extensively decorated garments with a jaguar-headed "tail" or belt. Red blood droplets in the field symbolize the violence of the scene.
Provenance: private Copeland collection, Boulder, Colorado, USA, acquired before 1990
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Professionally repaired from a few large pieces with restoration over the break lines; however, this is very well executed and difficult to see.