Pre-Columbian, Ecuador, Chorrera to La Tolita (sometimes Tumaco) cultures, ca. 500 BCE to 350 CE. A charming hand-built pottery vessel with a slight concave base, a conical body which gradually tapers to a rounded top, a parabolic, stirrup-shaped handle with an integral avian figure, and a squat spout with an everted rim. The avian figure on the handle is that of an owl with a rounded head, recessed circular eyes with impressed pupils, a large aquiline beak, folded wings, and a tab-shaped handle with impressed feathers. The body displays an intricate and abstract series of incised linear, stepped, and curvilinear motifs which resemble an abstract avian head in some areas. Covered in pale orange-red slip, this is a rare and attractive example of Chorrera pottery! Size: 4.3" W x 7.875" H (10.9 cm x 20 cm).
These cultures - of which Chorrera is the predecessor to the later La Tolita style - are known for their ability to portray zoomorphic and anthropomorphic subjects in a way that indicates careful observation from life. In particular, the bird attached to the handle seen here displays a keen appreciation for its natural subject and its inquisitive disposition.
Provenance: private Southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
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