Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Nayarit, Protoclassic period, ca. 100 BCE to 250 CE. A fine depiction of a hollow-built pottery warrior figure seated upon two rear conical legs. The warrior wears a barrel-shaped cuirass over his midsection replete with a lightly-fluted collar as well as a cream-hued torso which, based on traces of additional black pigment, may have illustrated a more complex decorative motif. A knob-headed club is brandished in his attenuated arms, and the tapering neck bears four white-dotted necklaces. Ovoid eyes with applied rims and black pupils have applied vertical striations leading towards the angular cheeks, with tall ears each adorned with a trio of earrings, and a prominent nose situated above a gaping mouth, all beneath a wide-rimmed, bi-pronged helmet. Deep red slip covers much of the lower body, through bright orange pigment emphasizes the physical form of the neck and head. A striking example of ancient shaft-tomb pottery! Size: 7.125" W x 16.875" H (18.1 cm x 42.9 cm).
This figure stood guard in a shaft tomb, most likely placed so that it was facing outward around the perimeter of the tomb. Some scholars have theorized that this symbolically depicted a continuum between the worlds of the living and the dead. A brawny, militant protector with serious attitude from the ancients of West Mexico.
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private Dallas, Texas, USA collection
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