Pre-Columbian, Peru, Chavin, 900 to 200 BCE. A brownware cylinder jar with incised polychrome motifs around its exterior. These form diamonds and animals shown in profile; white and pink pigment enhance them and make them stand out from the background brownware color. The animals shown are repeated, with labyrinthine geometric patterns in their torsos, spiral flourishes forming ears and nostrils, and a series of ovals forming an eye with iris. Cloud-like curves erupt from the sides of the body, each curve with a single depression pressed into its center. Size: 5.9" W x 4.95" H (15 cm x 12.6 cm)
The Chavin represent the first widespread artistic tradition in the Andes (and are often compared to the Olmec in terms of inspiration for later periods), and they worked to make elaborate designs even though the advanced molding and firing techniques that would come to Peru later had not yet developed. Incised vessels like this one were very popular, and were probably made to hold chicha, a fermented corn beer drink.
Provenance: ex Stendahl Gallery, Los Angles, California, USA, acquired in the 1950's
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