Pre-Columbian, Mexico, Olmec period, Tlatilco people, Tlapacoya, ca. 1250 to 800 BCE. A remarkably well-preserved earthenware figure of a pregnant woman, hand-modeled and given a black surface through reduction firing. There are some traces of red cinnabar pigment on the body, giving an idea of what it looked like when made. The figure stands atop tiny, nub-like feet, with the legs quickly widening to ample thighs below the distended bell. The woman's stance emphasizes her belly, with her shoulders thrust back and her arms and hands - also nub-like - thrust out to the sides. Her head leans forward on the neck, her face created by a series of slits for eyes and mouth and a low relief nose. She wears two round, applied earrings and has a turban-like headdress or coiffure. Size: 2.25" W x 4.5" H (5.7 cm x 11.4 cm); 4.9" H (12.4 cm) on included custom stand.
Tlapacoya, a major archaeological site related to the Tlatilco people, is at the foot of the Tlapacoya volcano, south of Mexico City. The most famous finds at the site are small human figures like this one. Were they funerary figures, made to be placed into graves? Were they toys? Used in ritual? Models of real individuals, eternally memorialized? We may never know!
Provenance: ex-Bruce Rogers collection, San Francisco, California, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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.
Remarkably intact for its age, with nice mineral and soil deposits.