Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Jalisco, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. Two ceramic figures, each holding what appears to be a drum in her lap. Both are women, richly painted in a deep, earthy red pigment, with additional creamy white giving details of ornament and dress. One is posed with her legs crossed, while the other has her legs folded underneath her body. Both wear distinctive earrings and have large headdresses made of applied clay on their long, rectangular heads, perhaps a sign of skull shaping or beauty standards in this culture. These figures are from the West Mexican shaft tomb tradition and were made to be placed in tombs, where they lined the walls of the tomb while the deceased rested in the center. Size of largest (they are close in size): 5.1" W x 9.75" H (13 cm x 24.8 cm)
Provenance: private Stagecoach, Nevada, USA collection; acquired from 1985 to present from galleries such as Arte Primitivo, Art For Eternity, Butterfields, and Riverbend Gallery
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Both are intact, with nicely preserved pigment. The smaller of the two, in particular, is in excellent condition. Deposits on the surfaces of both.