**First Time At Auction**
Pre-Columbian, Peru (North Coast), Moche Culture, ca. 100 to 700 CE. A rare form of vessel, a depiction of the god Ai Apec partially transformed into a snail. Ai Apec, the chief deity of the Moche (Mochica) culture, bears the identifying marks of the god, with feline fangs extending from his fierce mouth; below his head, his body becomes a double-jointed gastropod. Ai Apec is often associated with the sea, and other known Moche vessels show him seated on a mountain top with the path to his throne lined with snails. The reason for this was because he was seen as a guardian of all food sources - including those of the sea. He may even have been credited with the inception of fishing for the Moche culture. Size: 7.5" W x 10.25" H (19 cm x 26 cm)
Provenance: private Andrade collection New York, NY, USA acquired 1960s; ex Knoedler & Company
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