Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche-Salinar Transition, ca. 500 BCE. A striking bichrome red and kaolin slipped portrait stirrup vessel created during the transitional period between the Salinar and the newly-emerging Moche cultures. The ancient Andean worldview was that of a hierarchy, a very ordered place where everyone understood his/her role in society. Here we have the noble visage of an important shaman or lord, presenting a calm perhaps entranced expression with well-delineated features (almond-shaped closed eyes, a protruding nose, cup-shaped ears, and slightly parted lips) adorned with face paint/tattoos (striations below the eyes and across the nose, a thick red band across the mouth and lower cheeks, stylized glyphs embellishing the neck, and those eyebrows may actually be comprised of tattooed arrow motifs). The relatively naturalistically rendered face and the intricately delineated facial tattooing/painting are clearly the creative work of a skilled artist. Size: 6.625" W (ear to ear) x 7.75" H (16.8 cm x 19.7 cm)
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private Dr. Fisher collection, Germany
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Normal surface wear with scuffs and minor losses to painted decoration commensurate with age. Collection label and marks from former collection labels on underside of base. Otherwise intact and fabulous.