Pre-Columbian, Western Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. An adorable and highly-burnished redware pottery dog curled into a classic resting position. Its expressive visage is composed of large ovoid eyes, a conical snout, incised mouth, and a pair of perky ears, all supported by a thick neck. Its slightly-emaciated body is curved in a C-shape with four legs retracted beneath, a tubular spout projecting tangentially from the midpoint, and a sinuous tail wrapped around its posterior. Scholars know of at least two types of Colima dogs, one to be fattened up and ritually sacrificed or eaten and one to serve as a watchdog and healer of the ill. The Xoloitzcuintle dog depicted here was named for the deity Xolotl, the God of the Underworld, and believed to guide the deceased as they journeyed to the afterlife. Colima vessels such as this one were buried in shaft tombs to protect the deceased and provide sustenance for eternity. Size: 10" W x 3.25" H (25.4 cm x 8.3 cm).
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private New York, New York, USA collection
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Age-commensurate surface wear and abrasions as expected, small nicks to ears, spout, head, and base, with some discoloration and smoke clouds, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits and attractivemineral deposits throughout.