Ceramic whistle (Ocarina) in the form of a shell with a crouching monkey finial and decorated with a wide incised central band with two large long beaked birds, painted ochre on a red-brown ground.
Music was central to the Pre Columbian cultures as a form of religious expression. It was highly developed, including a system of perfect harmony before the West developed anything similar. The instruments were often decorated with natural subjects, especially the animals to which the peoples were accustomed, and many smaller instruments were formed into animal shapes.
Condition: Areas of scattered mineral deposits on the surface, intact and in very good condition overall. Museum quality custom mount included.
Dimensions: Height: 6 1/2 inches (16.5cm)
Provenance: private Danish collection, acquired 1970s, collection #2316.