Papagayo polychrome bowl supported by three zoomorphic rattle legs that are likely representations of mythical beasts, the detail of one of the tripod feet demonstrates the great skill employed in production.
The term Greater Nicoya defines a Pre-Columbian cultural area that comprised the regions of Guanacaste and Nicoya in the northwestern portion of the modern Latin American countries of Costa Rica and part of the Pacific region of Nicaragua. Nicoya Polychrome is the name given to the Early Post Classic period in Costa Rica and El Salvador, after the town of Nicoya, Costa Rica and its brilliant multi-colored pottery. The people of this culture produced large scale stone sculpture in three-dimensions (unlike two-dimensional representations in Maya sites) and were skilled in gold and copper metallurgy. Also known for their exuberant and colorfully expressive pottery, these skilled artisans claimed descent from the Olmec people of ancient times.
For related example see: Michael C. Carlos Museum, Tripod Bowl with Zoomorphic Rattle Feet,Accession Number:1991.004.264
Dimensions: Height: 3 inches (7.62 cm), Diameter: 4.5 inches (11.43 cm)
Condition: Intact with minimal paint loss, some minor loss to the rim, good dendrites, and in excellent condition overall. Rattle balls still inside legs and functioning.
Provenance: Private Californian collection, acquired from the trade in the mid 1960's and then by descent.