Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, Protoclassic period, ca. 100 BCE to 250 CE. A wonderful pottery vessel of a vermillion hue in the form of a wide, voluminous squash with a body that is stylistically-segmented with smooth, fine vertical ribbing. The vessel features a boldly flaring spout and is supported by three legs in the form of parrots, birds prized for their feathers among the ancients of America. Each avian form is defined with incised and pierced ovoid eyes, curved beaks, and incised, modeled wings upon a plump body that resolves to a tapered tail. The slipped and burnished surface is truly magnificent. Moreover, art imitates life in this ceramic vessel! After all, the indigenous of Mexico used hollowed gourds for storing and serving food and drink. Furthermore, iconographically this piece is quite poignant as squashes and parrots were both symbols of fertility and abundance. Painted red surface with areas of scattered root marks and manganese blooms. Larger and finer than most! Size: 14.25" W x 10" H (36.2 cm x 25.4 cm).
Colima, located on Mexico's southwestern coast, was during this time part of the shaft tomb culture, along with neighbors to the north in Jalisco and Nayarit. In this culture, the dead were buried down shafts - 3 to 20 meters deep - that were dug vertically or near vertically through the volcanic tuff called tepetate that makes up the geology of the region. The base of the shaft would open into one or more horizontal chambers with a low ceiling. These shafts were almost always dug beneath a dwelling, probably a family home, and seem to have been used as family mausoleums, housing the remains of many related individuals. This is a vessel made to be placed inside those mausoleums, perhaps to hold offerings and supplies for the journey between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Provenance: ex-private Los Angeles, California, USA collection, acquired through family descent
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
Parts of each leg or entire leg repaired with small chips and light adhesive residue along break lines, and repairs to some areas of rim. Large area of repair to underside of vessel with some overpainting along break line. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age as expected, small chips to legs, body, and rim, and some fading to coloration. Light earthen deposits within recessed areas, and nice areas of mineral deposits and root marks. Nice craquelure to some areas of pigmentation.