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Vicús Pottery Bird Stirrup Spout Whistling Vessel

Vicús Pottery Bird Stirrup Spout Whistling Vessel

Regular price €1.050,00
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Pre-Columbian era, Vicús culture, c. 500BC to 600AD, Piura Region, Peru

Important, rare and absolutely gorgeous hand-built and highly burnished pottery whistling vessel with a large lenticular body surmounted by a crested bird's head connected by a strap handle to the short conical spout. Round-bottomed vessel decorated with red slip and cream white coloured bands. The whistling jar is a one or two-chambered vessel in which a whistle, often concealed by a bird's head, is sounded by blowing into the spout, or by pouring liquid from one chamber to the other to create a bird-like twittering sound.

Vicús was an important early culture in the northernmost part of the Pacific coastal area of Peru. Archaeologically the culture is not yet clearly dated, and various sources give different dates, starting somewhere between 1000BC and 200BC and lasting until between 300AD and 600AD. Its administrative headquarters, located in the "Cerro Vicús", at an altitude of 170 meters above sea level, and which gives its name to this culture, served as a link with other Andean cities located further north. The most important feature of this culture is agriculture, the basis for their economic development. It is known that they cultivated squash, corn and some fruits, with advanced irrigation systems. These activities were complemented by livestock or hunting. Vicús were known for their work in ceramics, copper, and gold. The Vicús ceramics was influenced by the Salinar and Gallizano cultures and from the direction of Ecuador. Both a sculptural nature and painted ornamentation were typical of the design of the artefacts. Its vessel forms and iconographic motifs are similar to those of the better known Moche style, yet its color, modeling, and surface decoration seems more Ecuadorian.

Excellent condition. Intact. Age-related minor wear. Size approx. 20,0cm x 16,0cm x 17,0cm.

Provenance: According to information, from the collection of Paul Ragnar Wedendal Sr. & Paul Wedendal Jr. Wedendal Sr. acquired Pre-Columbian art during his travels in the 1940s-1950s.

For a similar examples see:

Vessel; Whistle, The British Museum, Accession Number: Am1967,08.5 (

Effigy Stirrup Spout Vessel with Resist Paint, The Brooklyn Museum, Accession Number: 78.118.37 (

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