**Originally Listed At $700**
Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche III, ca. 400 to 500 CE. A huge, hand-built pottery flared bowl - called a florero (Spanish for "flower pot") - used in Moche ceremonies. Painted in a bichrome palette of russet and cream hues, this highly-burnished vessel is comprised of a flat base, gradually-widening walls, and a signature wide-flared rim. The exterior boasts a decorative register of impressed designs in the form of serpent-tailed mythological creatures with long ears, sinuous limbs, and outstretched tongues. Vessels like these are quite rare due to their size and expert artistry, and this example is of no exception! Size: 11.5" W x 5.5" H (29.2 cm x 14 cm).
Florero bowls were generally reserved for ceremonial usage due to the supposed powers held within which could be employed by only the strongest of shaman. Regarding their use, author Jeffrey Quilter posits that they "perhaps…held materials used in healing. Possibly they were even filled with liquid to serve as divinatory mirrors, somewhat like crystal balls, enabling the user to see into the other world and find a cure" (Quilter, Jeffrey. The Moche of Ancient Peru: Media and Messages. Peabody Museum Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2011, pp. 92). Shamanism and medicine were of the utmost importance to ancient Mesoamerican cultures like the Moche, so certain tools or vessels were created at the behest of the shaman so as to progress the advancement of medicinal remedies as well as to not upset the gods to which these shaman prayed and pleaded.
Provenance: private Andrade collection, New York, New York, USA, acquired 1960's
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Repaired from a few large pieces with small chips and light adhesive residue along break lines. Expected surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, fading to pigmentation, with small chips to base and rim, and a couple of stable hairline fissures, otherwise very good. Light earthen deposits throughout, and impressed designs are still visible.