**Originally Listed At $300**
Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche I, ca. 400 BCE to 100 CE. A beautiful stirrup spout ceramic vessel of a smooth surface and classic globular form, adorned with a handsome design comprised of four quadrants of geometrics, primarily circular motifs, two quadrants embellished with cream-colored kaolin slip polka dots on a red ground, alternating with two adorned with smaller circles outlined in black resist on the red ground. The negative resist technique was rarely used by the Moche but rather more often by the Viru, Recuay, and later Vicus cultures, adding to the unusual properties of this piece. All quadrants are neatly separated by a double line painted in kaolin slip. Size: 9" x 6-3/4" (22.9 x 17.1 cm).
The Moche were masterful ceramicists. Most of their vessels were mold made standard shapes and forms. However, iconographically their decorations boasted a rich range of subjects. Some were embellished with stylized abstract motifs as we see in this example. Others took on the forms of animals including camelids, deer, monkeys, felines, birds, sea lions, bats, fish, reptiles, arachnids, and the list goes on. Plant life also served as inspiration for the Mochica. You will find examples representing squashes, corn, beans, gourds, etc. In addition, human subjects were depicted, in some cases as portrait vessels, others as representative warriors, rulers, healers, etc. Scholars disagree as to their functionality and use. Until recently most believed these vessels to be funerary wares. However, some argue that they were created for domestic purposes, feasts, rituals, or other ceremonial uses. The research continues and fortunately we have pieces such as this example to serve as a window upon the ancient world.
Provenance: Ex-private Leonard Collection, Virginia, USA, acquired before 1979.
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