Pre-Columbian, Gulf Coast Mexico, Veracruz (Vera Cruz), ca. 3rd to 7th century CE. A mold-formed pottery child's toy in the form of a standing jaguar figure posed atop four wheels. The top of the curled tail houses a whistle mouthpiece, and the tubular body serves as the whistle; it produces a nice sound when played. Huge ears flank the rounded head, and circular eyes, a pointed nose, and bared fangs comprise the zoomorphic visage. Size: 4.3" L x 2.625" W x 3.25" H (10.9 cm x 6.7 cm x 8.3 cm).
Provenance: private Southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
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Wheels are not connected to axles, and wooden axles are modern. Repairs to one back leg, one front leg, and tail. Small loss to portion of face, minor nicks to head, body, and wheels, and tail, and softening to some finer details. Light earthen deposits throughout. Whistle produces nice sound when played.