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Chancay Pottery Figural Jar

Chancay Pottery Figural Jar

Regular price €2.450,00
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Pre-Columbian era, Chancay culture, 1000-1470AD, Peru.

A remarkable, exceptionally large, unpolished and hand-built polychrome effigy jar in the form of a shaman or crowned nobleman holding a conical cup (kero) likely filled with a hallucinogenic substance. The stylized figure displays a voluminous, egg-shaped body tapering in to vertical neck, rim slightly flaring out and a cylindrical head with oval eyes and dilated pupils, indicative of drug-intoxication, as well as a pointed nose, pursed lips, and a jutting chin, with stylized tattoos or face paint embellishing the eyes, mouth, and cheeks. He is elaborately adorned with a grand headdress presenting five ridged columnar high relief motifs, enormous round earspools, and an incised collar of  rectangular design. Elements of his body are presented in relief (arms, legs, feet), his hands as applied attachments with incised fingers, and additional details are painted painted with rich dark brown accents on a light beige slip. 

The Chancay were a pre-Columbian archaeological civilization which developed between the valleys of Fortaleza, Pativilca, Supe, Huaura, Chancay, Chillón, Rimac and Lurin, on the central coast of Peru from c. 1000AD-1470AD. The Chancay culture is defined archaeologically by a distinctive and homogeneous ceramic style. These ceramics are known from extensive cemeteries in the Chancay region, where they were included in burials as grave goods. They are generally made of a peculiarly gritty clay that leaves an unpolished matte surface. Over this is painted a white slip, decorated with black or dark brown designs. 

Good condition. Areas of chipping to rim and earspools and some nicks and pitting in areas, all commensurate with age. Otherwise, intact and excellent with nice remaining pigments. Earthen deposits on interior. Size approx. 33,0cm x 19,5cm x 21,5cm. 

Provenance: private collection from Sweden.

For a similar examples see:

Jar with human form, Harvard University, The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Accession Number: 75-20-30/8488 (

Figure Holding Cup, The Brooklyn Museum, Accession Number: 44.99.25 (

Jar, The British Museum, Accession Number: Am1997,05.1 (

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