Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Vicus ca. 400 to 100 BCE. A dramatic jaguar effigy vessel - redware with a spotted coat and striped tail delineated in white pigment - its form standing upon all four legs, with a bridge handle joining head to spout, and a curled tail at the rear. The expressive jaguar visage presents an open mouth with pointy teeth, bulging eyes, a petite nose with flaring nostrils, and perky ears. The Vicus culture is one of the earliest known ceramic making traditions in Peru, comparable to the Olmec in Mesoamerica, and in this vessel you can see the tradition that would lead to later styles like those of the Moche and the Inca. An intriguing piece of Vicus pottery. Size: 9" L x 8.625" H (22.9 cm x 21.9 cm)
Throughout the Pre-Columbian world. Warriors, rulers, hunters, and shamans alike associated themselves with this king of beasts, the largest and most powerful feline in the New World. What's more, the principal deity of the Moche, another Peruvian culture, wears a headdress adorned with a jaguar head and paws and important mortals donned similar headdresses. A nocturnal animal, the jaguar sleeps in caves and dark places and creeps quietly in the forest, evoking great mystery.
Provenance: private Leonard collection, Virginia, USA, acquired before 1979
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