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A Nazca Single Spouted Vessel, ca. 400 - 600 AD

potted from fine red clay, the lentoid form featuring a rear tapered spout and strap handle, the polychrome decoration  Decorated with two large semi-abstract monkeys and several star fish.

Background:   The Nazca people of Peru's southern coast produced quantities of ceramic vessels in a variety of shapes. The surfaces of these vessels are usually very smooth and shiny, and—unlike contemporary wares from the north coast—they are painted in as many as thirteen colors, including white, red, brown, gray, yellow, orange, and pink. The vibrant tones were achieved by applying slips colored with mineral-based pigments, outlined in black, to the hardened, smooth surface before firing.    Although finely decorated Nazca vessels were made in specialized workshops, recent discoveries in small habitation sites show that the use of painted plates and open bowls was not limited to people living in monumental sites. These vessels were widely distributed among the population and used in households of any socioeconomic status. Plates and bowls were probably obtained during feasts, which gave opportunities for elites to enhance their own status by displaying and distributing prestigious crafts among the population.  

Dimensions:  Height: 5 inches (12.7 cm), Length to spout: 8 inches (20.32 cm)

Condition: Handle repaired and some light scattered wear to the painted surface. Otherwise intact and in good condition overall.

Provenance: Collection of Paul Frank, acquired by descent from John Green and previously acquired from Parke-Bernet Auctions, April 11, 1970, lot #135.

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