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Chimú Blackware Anthropomorphic Figure Bottle

Chimú Blackware Anthropomorphic Figure Bottle

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Pre-Columbian era, Chimú culture, c. 800-1470AD, Moche Valley, Trujillo, Peru.

Mesmerizing, important Chimú blackware effigy bottle with anthropomorphic figure, possibly shaman, wearing a headdress that doubles as the vessel’s spout. The neck is modeled with a face, a handle affixed behind the neck, characterized by circular eyes framing an prominent nose, the latter overhanging a open mouth, oversized ears, stylized arms or wings at the sides, and the bent knees, taking position on the lower part of the flattened circular belly. The location of the head at the base of the neck is typical of Chimú iconography. The recurring molding of human faces and bodies into Chimú pottery most likely communicates aspects of Chimú hierarchical society and wealth. The Chimú ceramics fullfilled both functions, for daily use of household and for ceremonial offerings. Pottery types tended to be standardized, with quantity production, made on molds, and generally of a plain black ware. The pottery were fired in a kiln deprived of oxygen, causing the iron compounds in the clay to turn black. Lighter ceramics were also produced in smaller quantities. The characteristic brightness was obtained by rubbing with rock that previously had been polished. Many animals, fruits, characters, and mystical entities have been represented pictorially on Chimú ceramics. 

Good condition. Small chip to strap handle. Age-related minimal wear. Lovely polished patina. Size approx. 12,2cm x 9,6cm x 6,3cm.

Provenance: From the estate of Swedish antique dealer Björn Wirén. Collected in the 1950's to 1960's.

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