Pre-Columbian, Western Mexico, Jalisco, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A fabulous male pottery figure of a warrior seated upon a large posterior, nude save for a brimmed, pronged helmet, with delineated legs and male genitalia, a broad torso, and enormous rounded shoulders indicative of immense strength. He holds a pottery rendition of an obsidian blade in his right hand and a rectangular shield in his left. A thick neck supports a stylized visage composed of ovoid eyes, a prominent nose with accompanying nose ring, a gaping mouth, full cheeks and chin, bar-shaped ears with looped earrings, and a smooth brow. The entire figure is enveloped in a thick chalky-white kaolin coating, though his nude nature suggests he may have worn additional decorative garments at one point. A superb example of West Mexican shaft-tomb pottery! Size: 8.75" W x 10.5" H (22.2 cm x 26.7 cm).
This figure would have stood guard in a shaft tomb, a burial method unique to the ancients of West Mexico; some shafts could be over 50 feet long, and several tombs containing human remains would branch off the shaft. Figures like this fellow were placed facing outward around the edges of the tomb as if in conversation with or to provide for the human remains within; some scholars have theorized that this symbolically depicted a continuum between the worlds of the living and the dead, with communication occurring between them. A brawny, militant protector with serious attitude from the ancients of West Mexico.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private T. Misenhimer collection, Hollywood, California, USA, famous Hollywood film producer; ex-Ron Messick Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
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Repaired from multiple fragments with several areas of restoration, resurfacing, and overpainting along break lines. Area of repair and restoration to shield, knife, and one helmet prong. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, small nicks to legs, torso, arms, head, and helmet, with fading and discoloration to kaolin pigmentation, otherwise very good. Nice earthen deposits throughout.