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Lot 0092
Pre-Columbian, northwestern Costa Rica, Middle / Late Polychrome periods in Guanacaste / Nicoya, ca. 800 to 1550 CE. A striking, rare style of tripod vessel, composed of an ornately-decorated, tall-sided bowl standing on three legs shaped like human faces. Each or these faces has bulging eyes and huge eyelashes and eyebrows. The exterior of the bowl is ringed with wide and narrow bands of black and red on an orange surface. The interior of the bowl has more figural decoration. Depictions of woven mats, feathered headdresses, and fish ring the center, which is painted with a stylized bird with its wings spread. Size: 10.5" W x 4.95" H (26.7 cm x 12.6 cm)

The connections between the Aztec, the Mayan city-states, and the Costa Rican cultures remain unclear, but we do know that there was trade and migration of people between the two, especially northwestern Costa Rica. For example, the bird in the center here may be a hummingbird, representing the central Mexican god Huitzilopotchli - gods from this region were popular themes on Costa Rican pottery around 1000 CE.

Provenance: private Chicago, Illinois, USA collection, acquired in the 1980s

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Repaired from two large pieces. With nice remaining pigment.

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  • 24.5%

Rare Costa Rican Polychrome Tripod, Mayan Influence

Estimate $1,500 - $2,500Apr 17, 2018
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
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