Pre-Columbian, Bolivia, South Andean Highlands, Tihuanaco (Tiwanaku), ca. 400 to 700 CE. A polychrome globular bottle, a popular form of the Tihuanaco artisans, with a generous rounded body, a perforated lug on one shoulder for carrying or suspending, and a tall tubular spout. Most impressive is the vessel's iconographic / decorative program painted in a colorful palette of chocolate brown, russet red, grey, beige, orange, black, and white. Both sides present an intriguing mythical hybrid zoomorphic / anthropomorphic figure lying upon arms bent at the elbows and legs bent at the knees. His head is that of a wild feline - perhaps belonging to a puma, an animal favored by Tihuanaco artists - and feathered wings - perhaps those of a condor, a bird of prey prominent in Tihuanaco visual culture as well - sprout from his human back, suggesting he may be an ancient Peruvian version of the sphinx. Size: 7.75" W x 10" H (19.7 cm x 25.4 cm)
In his front paws, the figure holds a black and white rope wrapped around his neck that conjures serpentine imagery. Adding to the decoration are striated and abstract feather-like patterns in the field and around the spout.
. The monumental city of Tihuanaco / Tiwanaku in the Bolivian highlands is an incredible 13,000 feet above sea level. Among the 754 recognized World Heritage Sites, Tiwanaku is surrounded by glorious mountain ranges, with Lake Titicaca on the west border. Huge blocks of a stone which are not actually indigenous to the otherwise flat plateau have inspired Tiwanaku's nickname - "the Stonehenge of the Americas".
This piece has been tested using thermoluminescence (TL) and has been found to be ancient and of the period stated. A full report will accompany purchase.
Provenance: ex-Dino Falliers collection, Denver, Colorado, USA
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