**Originally Listed At $600**
Pre-Columbian, Costa Rican, ca. 7th to 12th century CE. A hand built earthenware effigy vessel, possibly representing a chieftain of importance or a significant figure from the ancient Costa Rican mythical world. The figure's head forms the lid of the vessel with its meticulously delineated applied, modeled, and incised expressive features, round earspools, and elaborate helmet. The personage's body serves as the body of the vessel with applied limbs, garment borders, and incised schematic crocodilian creatures. Size: 3.75" in diameter x 4.375" H (9.5 cm x 11.1 cm)
The crocodile imagery on this piece is especially symbolic. The Crocidilia order, comprised of crocodiles, smaller alligators, and yet smaller caymans (all treated similarly in Pre-Columbian mythology) was very meaningful to the ancients of the Americas. The crocodile being the oldest (approximately 55 million years old) was understood as a crocodilian earth monster and is oftentimes shown giving rise to what was known as the World Tree. Partial to a watery habitat, the crocodile is also a metaphor for fertility.
Provenance: private Atlanta, Georgia collection USA
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