Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, Nazca culture, ca. 100 to 400 CE. A vibrant polychrome vessel in the shape of a plump sitting bird, perhaps a quail. The bird's body is defined by a large barrel-shaped front breast that tapers to a narrow tail area. A protruding upturned head attaches to a bridge handle that connects to a spout or mouth piece; a tiny perforation on the head perhaps enabled this vessel to whistle. The surface is painted with maroon, cream, and black pigment with prominent checkers, zigzagging lines, and long feather like motifs, as well as beady eyes and legs that are visible on the bottom. The side feathers below the head have simplistic human faces, perhaps representative of trophy heads, a ritualistic decapitation practice during warfare. The Nazca are known for elaborate effigy pottery with brightly painted patterns, often used for ritualistic purposes or included in burials. This vessel is absolutely stunning with thoughtful details and abstract plumage patterns that the artisan included to make the bird come alive. Size: 7.125" L x 5.09" W x 6.5" H (18.1 cm x 12.9 cm x 16.5 cm)
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex Sidney Berman Collection, New York City, New York acquired during the 1970s
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Repair to tail with about 2 to 4 pieces reattached, radiating but stable hairline fissures, resurfacing to the break lines, and a couple of nicks to the break lines. Normal surface wear and some fading commensurate with age but generally vibrantly painted with amazing details!