Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, Nazca to Huari/Wari, ca. 500 to 700 CE. An adorable hand-built pottery vessel in the form of a feline head with a circular base and impressively thin walls that expand outwards to a spherical body, then inward to an annular rim flanked by 2 tab-shaped ears. Adorned in a high burnish and hues of black, ocher, olive green, and maroon, the visage of the charming creature features a square-shaped mouth bearing 5 teeth, a long tongue, 5 long rectangular whiskers, a protruding round nose, and 2 target-shaped eyes embellished with an 2 arches of yellow and green over each, which meet at the nose. The vessel is divided in two fields with the area in front of the ears sporting a deep shade of dark red and the back displaying a black ground. An exceptional vessel from ancient Peru! Size: 7.25" W x 4.25" H (18.4 cm x 10.8 cm)
Accompanied by a letter from Professor Alfred Kidder II, curator of the American section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, stating that the vessel is likely Nazca or Pracas with Tiahuanaco influence in the background.
Provenance: private Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA collection; ex-William Godferey, Jr. collection, Beloit College, Wisconsin, USA, acquired in the 1950s to 1960s
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Repairs to rim. Chip to back of proper right ear. Expected surface wear with minor nicks/chips, light pitting, and a few minute surface cracks, commensurate with age. Otherwise, excellent with lovely earthen deposits and impressive remaining pigments.