Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru to Southern Ecuador, Cajamarca culture, ca. 1000 CE. In a word, WOW! A lovely polychrome pottery bowl with an extensive iconographic program. Surrounding the tondo are four panels, two featuring long-eared animals - probably rabbits - presented in a prone position against a textured ground, perhaps representing grass. Alternating with these are two panels with abstract, striated polygonal forms. On the exterior walls are two gridded panels gracing opposite sides of the piece - each one comprised of six rectangles that house wonderful motifs, some sinuous and serpentine, others with nested, repeated arched strokes. Beneath the pronounced ring base is an incised double X form. A fabulous example from a rare and understudied part of the Andean past. Size: 7.125" W x 2.75" H (18.1 cm x 7 cm)
What is most impressive about this piece is its intriguing iconographic program. Although it is difficult to decipher the messages put forth by the imagery on this vessel, we do know that in the Pre-Columbian world the rabbit was a metaphor for the moon, a symbol of the night sky, as well as the fecundity of the earth - and given the bunny's magical associations with the celestial orb of the night, we are absolutely "over the moon" for this vessel!
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private New York, USA collection
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Minor surface wear with slight scuffs and loss to pigment, but the decorative program is still quite nice. Areas of earthen/mineral deposits. Generally excellent.