Pre-Columbian terra-cotta featured in tribal art auction July 5


Matching pair of Mayan lidded terracotta vessels, 8 x 5½ in. Estimate: $3,500-$5,000. Jasper52 image

NEW YORK – The current Jasper52 auction titled Premium Tribal Art offers more than 200 lots of figures and masks integral to traditional ceremonies of cultures from around the globe. Many of the top objects in the July 5 auction are pottery that originated in the pre-Columbian cultures of Central and South America where societies flourished before the arrival of Spanish explorers. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

A matching pair of terra-cotta Mayan lidded vessels having deity head finials and ornamental carved glyphs date to A.D. 200-400. The 8-inch-tall vessels (above) have a $3,500-$5,000 estimate.

A ceramic sculptural group of six figures performing a dance ritual, circa 500 B.C.-A.D. 500, is from the state of Colima in western Mexico (est. $4,000-$6,000). The ceramic figures (below) have whistles built into the tops of their heads.


Colima group depicting six figures performing a dance ritual, 5 x 9 in. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Jasper52 image

A rare terra-cotta vessel depicting a large fish and mounted by a native aballito de totora boat and two fishermen, is from the Inca culture, circa 1500. The 9-inch-long object has a $1,250-$1,750 estimate.


Inca terra-cotta vessel depicting a fish mounted by a caballito de totora boat with two fisherman, 7½ x 9 in. Estimate: $1,250-$1,750. Jasper52 image

Another fish form is a terra-cotta grater from the La Tolita culture (600 B.C.-A.D. 200) in present-day Ecuador. Stone chips provide the working surface of the grater (est. $1,200-$1,600).


La Tolita terra-cotta grater having inserted stone chips in the shape of a fish, 10½ x 3½ in. Estimate: $1,200-$1,600. Jasper52 image

The Sican culture that inhabited what is now the north coast of Peru between about A.D. 750 and 1375 contributed a musical vessel having two bodies. The front of the object represents a parrot, while the back has a body decorated with parrots in relief (est. $1,750-$2,500).


Sican ceramic musical vessel, 7½ in. high x 4 in. wide. Estimate: $1,750-$2,500. Jasper52 image

Large and important terra-cotta cuchimilco, or stargazer, an idol of the Chancay culture from Peru’s central coast, stands 21 inches high. This 1,000-year-old figure has a $3,500-$4,500 estimate.


Cuchimilco or stargazer idol, terra-cotta, 21in. high. Estimate: $3,500-$4,500. Jasper52 image

The Jasper52 auction will be conducted Thursday, July 5, beginning at 6:30 p.m.