Pre-Columbian, northern Peru, Chimu, ca 1100 to 1400 CE. A mold-formed and highly burnished blackware stirrup vessel, presenting with an ovoid rounded yet stable base, a bulbous body, a curved shoulder, and a tubular stirrup spout with a concave rim. The unique vessel is decorated with a scorpion being atop; his grinning face with bulging almond-shaped eyes, a wide nose, and prominent ears, wears a half-moon diadem as it sprouts out from below the base of one stirrup spout and is flanked by two curved arms with claws. His circular striped body adorns the top of the vessel, and his stinging tail bends upward on the other side. This curious individual may be a depiction of the feared and adored god Ai Apec, a punitive god of Mochica culture, referred to as the "headsman" and frequently portrayed as the humanoid form of a variety of ferocious beasts. A very rare and desirable jar! Size: 6.25" in diameter x 9.125" H (15.9 cm x 23.2 cm)
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex private Hans Juergen Westermann collection, Germany, collected from 1950 to 1960s
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Collection label on base. Some light fading of finish. Expected scratches commensurate with age, nicks/chips to rim of spout, stable hairline fissure along top, and minor repair to stirrup spout, but otherwise, intact and excellent.