North America, Southwestern US, New Mexico, Mimbres Valley, ca. 950 to 1150 CE. A remarkable hand-built pottery bowl featuring a round base, a hemispherical body, and a circular rim over a deep basin. Adorned with burnt sienna-hued pigment on a ground of creamy beige, the elegant vessel displays the design of two abstract avian creatures on its interior. The stylized zoomorphs are nearly symmetrical to one another along a vertical axis and exhibit two rectangular bodies, a pair of fanned tails, two wings, two lengthy necks, and two slender heads in profile, each with an elongated beak and a target-motif eye. Each of their wings consist of eight arched rows of petite triangles, representing feathers. One animal's neck has been embellished with five linear striations with circular finials, while both bodies are intricately decorated with an elaborate abstract pattern of geometric shapes and parallel lines. Four slender parallel bands encompass the rim of this gorgeous example from ancient Mimbres culture. These lovely zoomorphs may be intended to represent two turkeys in the act of mating. Please note that the Lucite stand is for photography purposes only. Size: 10.25" in diameter x 4.75" H (26 cm x 12.1 cm)
The Mimbres people occupied the mountain and river valleys of southwestern New Mexico; the name we know them by is from the Spanish word for the willows that grew alongside the river valleys. The artists responsible for creating pottery vessels like this were women, and the remains of many Mimbres women have been found in burial sites accompanied by pottery making tools.
This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world's largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.
Provenance: private Glorieta, New Mexico, USA collection
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Repaired from at least seven pieces with restoration over some break lines and other break lines visible. Kill hole restored (filled with new material). Chipping and some restoration to areas of rim. Expected abrasions and minor nicks, commensurate with age. Otherwise, excellent with impressive remaining pigments.