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Lot 0136B
Pre-Columbian, Costa Rica/Panama, Chiriqui, ca. 800 to 1200 CE. One of the most interesting examples of this vessel form that we have ever seen, a handbuilt terracotta tripod, sometimes referred to as a "chocolate pot" for its association with the coveted cocoa beverage or a "spider pot" for its leggy design, this piece presents a round-bottomed body that corsets inward to a concave neck decorated with a sinuous, serpentine motif against a stippled background above a series of incised striations. A pair of twisted "rope-like" appliques join the flared rim to the shoulder, and most exciting are the three legs representing stylized baleen whales with coffee bean shaped eyes, fins, and open mouths with meticulously delineated baleens - the whale's filter-feeder system designed to harvest food under water. The openwork whale legs were designed to hold rattle balls - rattles remain in two of the three legs of this fabulous example. Size: 8.25" W x 8.25" H (21 cm x 21 cm)

Provenance: private Tacoma, Washington, USA collection

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Vessel body repaired from about half a dozen pieces. Lower end of one leg reattached. One rattle ball missing from that leg, but the other two have survived. Expected surface wear with a few chips here and there.

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Wonderful Costa Rican Tripod Vessel w/ Whale Legs

Estimate $600 - $900Mar 15, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA