Pre-Columbian, Peru (North Coast), Moche III, ca. 300 CE. A mold-made bi-chrome ceramic vessel in the form of a seated Muscovy duck, its body fat, its head proudly forward above its chest. A stirrup handle with a short, slightly flared, cylindrical spout rises from the back of the duck's head and near its detailed tail feathers. The duck's wings cross low on its the back. The caruncle on the base of its upper bill is true to life for this distinctive species. Creamy white, red, and orange pigment give the duck a colorful striped body. The Moche domesticated the Muscovy duck and used it for feathers; feathers were a decorative symbol of royalty. The males of the species are frequently aggressive, and this drew the attention of the Moche, making the animal a special symbol for warriors. The Lord of Sipan was buried with ear spools decorated with Muscovy ducks, probably to emphasize his status as a powerful warrior. Size: 8.25" W x 8.75" H (21 cm x 22.2 cm)
See another example of a Moche Muscovy duck at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts (2010.1768).
Provenance: ex-private Hans Juergen Westermann collection, Germany, collected from the 1950s to the 1960s
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