Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, Nazca culture, ca. 400 to 600 CE. A fabulous ceramic "trophy head" vessel with a round but stable base, gently tapering walls, a deep interior cavity, and a thick, rolled rim. The exterior boasts a stylized human face with ovoid eyes under thin brows, a projecting sculpted nose, full lips encircled within a slender mustache, and rectangular striated panels beneath each eye indicative of tattooing, blood, or flayed skin. The "head" is brought forth with white, red, and black painted details atop a flesh-hued ground, and a register of red-and-black maize encircles his forehead against a white ground. Size: 4" W x 5.125" H (10.2 cm x 13 cm).
For an example of Nazca maize, please see: Lois Katz, ed. "Art of the Andes: Pre-Columbian Sculptured and Painted Ceramics from the Arthur M. Sackler Collection." The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation and The AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, Washington, D.C., 1983, p. 102, fig. 35.
Provenance: private Southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
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