Pre-Columbian, Colombia, Middle Cauca/Quimbaya, ca. 1200 to 1400 CE. A pair of hand-built Quimbaya terracotta figures - a male and female matched couple - the heads and bodies composed of joined front and back square and rectangular slabs of clay with attached tubular arms and legs. Both present expressive poses and countenances. The male sits with his left hand gesturing toward his chest while his right arm is raised with open hands and extended fingers as if making an oration or throwing something upward. His legs are bent and separated revealing a small phallus and both feet are firmly planted on the ground. The neck is indicated via a deep groove as is customary of such Quimbaya figures. Grooves around the knees indicate that ornamental bands were once present. Size: male 11.375" W x 14.375" H (28.9 cm x 36.5 cm); female measures 9.75" W x 13.375" H (24.8 cm x 34 cm)
His eyes and mouth are delineated with slits; however the large nose is naturalistically modeled with a pierced septum, presumably for a large ancient gold nose ring that is now missing. There are other piercings on head, ears, and waist presumably for additional ornamentation. His female companion sits with both hands gesturing toward her chest as if engaged in a chant or prayer. Her legs are extended outward and separated revealing her sex; petite nipples confirm her gender. The neck is indicated via a deep groove as is customary of such Quimbaya figures. Depressed grooves around the knees, upper arms, and wrists are intricately incised with textile-inspired motifs. Just like her male companion, her eyes and mouth are delineated with slits; however, her large nose is naturalistically modeled with a pierced septum, presumably for a large ancient gold nose ring that is now missing. She also presents remains of tattoo patterns on her face. There are other piercings on head, ears, and waist most likely for additional ornamentation.
A love pair, very rare to find a matched couple!
Provenance: ex-J. Smith Collection, Roswell, Georgia, USA
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