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Lot 0083
Pre-Columbian, Colombia, Tairona region, ca. 1000 to 1550 CE. Like much Tairona art, this one has so many details that it will take you many viewings to see them all. A blackware vessel with an elongated, anthropomorphic/zoomorphic form, and a round spout at one end with a transforming human/jaguar head on the face. Behind the head is a small bear figure leaning against a thin spout. Size: 11.2" L x 7.2" W x 9" H (28.4 cm x 18.3 cm x 22.9 cm)

The main figure has curved arms and legs that rise in low relief on the body, terminating in high relief paws with four digits curled inward as if to grasp. The head has a fierce, be-fanged mouth and popping, bulging eyes; it is broad, with tiny ears with drilled lobes as if they were once inset with something like shell or gold. Around the top of the head, serving as the rim, is a wave-pattern headband with further shallow, drilled holes for insets. The bear on the spout sits against the spout like it is leaning against a tree trunk, with paws splayed out before it. Its earlobes are similarly drilled, and its eyes are also bulging.

Who is the figure depicted? A shaman? A priest? It is not clear if the figures depicted on pottery are are meant to be based on real individuals or supernatural ancestors; many of them, like this one, have transformative animal elements. The Tairona lived in circular house platforms with areas of the houses divided for labor by gender. Ceramic manufacture seems to have been the realm of the women in the household, and small burnishing stones used for smoothing the surface of pottery prior to firing have been found in their areas. Effigy jars like this one were made specifically to be placed into tombs.

Provenance: Ex-Private Atlanta, GA collection120994

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Repair to rim that is well done and difficult to see; otherwise intact.

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Large Rare Tairona Pottery Jar - Jaguar Shaman

Estimate $1,500 - $2,500Jul 20, 2017
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
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