**Originally Listed At $1000**
Pre-Columbian, north coast of Peru, Chavin culture, ca. 900 to 200 BCE. A beautiful ceramic stirrup vessel in the form of a captive deer. The deer lies on his back, his legs hidden beneath his rotund body, his erect phallus projecting from the back of the vessel. His head is raised, a serene look on his face despite his bulging eyes. His body is scored with lines designed to give him the appearance of coarse fur. A squat, thick stirrup handle rises from the center of his belly, topped by a short spout with a thick rim. A vessel like this one may have been used ceremonially for holding chicha (maize beer) and for pouring libations onto the earth or storing them in the grave. Size: 8" W x 7" H (20.3 cm x 17.8 cm)
The Chavin people lived in the northern Highland Andes, and their capital, Chavin de Huantar, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The artwork of Chavin represents the first widespread style in the Andes, inspirational to later cultures, especially the Moche. Although the meaning behind their iconography is not known, the deer was likely associated with sexuality and fertility because of its prominent antlers and the yearly cycle of shedding them.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private New York, USA collection
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