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Lot 0550
**Originally Listed At $800**

Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Nayarit, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A hollow, hand-built pottery female figure seated upon attenuated legs which are covered by an ankle-length skirt. Her nude upper body displays globular breasts in front of either rounded shoulder, with one arm held out with delineated fingers, and the other holding a small bowl atop her lap. The stocky neck sports an applied necklace, and white-painted ear spools adorn each ear. Impressed ovoid eyes, a bulbous nose with a huge ring, a smiling mouth filled with teeth, and a smooth brow comprise the stylized visage. A red-and-white striped head band wraps around the tapering forehead, with red slip coating most of the exterior surfaces and providing a colorful ground upon which the cream and black curvilinear motifs are presented. Size: 7.625" W x 10.3" H (19.4 cm x 26.2 cm).

Clay figures like this one are among 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 Checkowsky collection, Clarkston, Michigan, USA

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#143686

Condition

Head professionally reattached to neck with small chips, light resurfacing, and overpainting along break lines. Minor nicks to head, body, and limbs, stable fissure beneath legs, with light encrustations, and fading to original pigmentation. Light earthen deposits and fabulous manganese blooms throughout. Old inventory label beneath base.

Starting Bid

$650

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Nayarit Pottery Seated Female w/ Bowl on Lap

Estimate $1,500 - $2,250
3d
7h
31m
49s
$6500 bids
Secure
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