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Lot 0465
**Originally Listed At $700**

Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche III, ca. 400 to 600 CE. A beautiful, hand-built pottery flared bowl - called a florero (Spanish for "flower pot") - with a highly-burnished surface and a light-orange coloration. The vessel itself is comprised of a flat base, walls which gradually widen, a shallow interior cavity, and its signature flared rim. While the interior is unadorned, the exterior boasts a striking decorative program of linear, circular, stepped, and wave-form designs in low-relief painted in a cream hue. Complementing the geometric schema are six abstract zoomorphic heads reminiscent of long-eared rabbits, with three facing upside-down and the other trio fading right-side-up. Florero vessels are quite rare to find intact, making this an exceptional example rife with charm and character! Size: 11" W x 5.125" H (27.9 cm x 13 cm)

Florero were generally reserved for use in ceremonies because of the supposed powers which could be employed by only the strongest of shaman. Regarding their use, author Jeffrey Quilter explains 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 in the 1960s

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Expected surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, minor nicks to rim, body, and base, and light fading to pigmentation, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen and mineral deposits throughout.

Starting Bid


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Moche Bichrome Pottery Florero / Flared Bowl

Estimate $1,300 - $1,950
$5000 bids
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Louisville, CO, USA