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Lot 0144
**Originally Listed At $600**

Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Nayarit, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A hollow pottery figure in the form of a seated male, seemingly wearing nothing but a necklace, headdress, nose ring, and spooled earrings. The figure's phallus - if that is what it is - is a broad, flat extension from just below his navel. Extensive black lines give color to his face and body and may suggest a real pattern of tattooing. The figure holds a rattle in one hand, expressing a common theme in West Mexican pottery, which is music and musicians. Size: 6.4" W x 8.25" H (16.3 cm x 21 cm)

Clay figures like this one are the only remains that we have today of a sophisticated and unique culture in West Mexico -- they made no above-ground monuments or sculptures, at least that we know of, which is in strong contrast to developments elsewhere in ancient Mesoamerica. Instead, their tombs were their lasting works of art: skeletons arrayed radially with their feet positioned inward, and clay offerings, like this one, placed alongside the walls facing inward, near the skulls. Some scholars have connected these dynamic sculptures of the living as a strong contrast to the skeletal remains whose space they shared, as if they mediated between the living and the dead.

Provenance: private Mitchell collection, Santa Barbara, California, USA

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One arm has been repaired; heavy manganese staining but a great deal of pigment remains underneath it.

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Nayarit Pottery Seated Male with Rattle

Estimate $1,100 - $1,650Dec 20, 2018