Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, late Nazca to early Wari (Huari) culture, ca. 500 to 700 CE. A hand-built pottery flask with a flat base, a wide, apple-shaped body with a rounded shoulder, and a projecting cylindrical spout with a thick lip. The vessel resembles a stylized human skull with recessed discoid eyes, a protruding nasal bone, dramatically-curving brows, and a smiling mouth, all painted in applied black and white pigment. Red pigment denotes the zigzagging lines extending outward from above the nasal bone as well as the mouth and two small horns near the temples. A thin register of vertical red and white stripes also adorns the neck. Size: 4.2" W x 5.25" H (10.7 cm x 13.3 cm).
Provenance: private southern California, USA collection; purportedly ex-Sotheby's auction in the early 1980s
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Vessel professionally repaired from multiple large pieces with some small chips, overpainting, and light adhesive residue along break lines. Minor nicks to spout, body, and base, with minor abrasions, and fading to some areas of pigmentation. Nice earthen deposits throughout. Waxy residue beneath base presumably to secure in former display.