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X-Rare Moche Blackware Manta Ray Stirrup-Jar

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1177714

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X-Rare Moche Blackware Manta Ray Stirrup-Jar

This extremely rare piece is a Moche blackware ceramic that dates circa 100 B.C.-200 A.D., Moche 1-II periods. This piece is approximately 6.75 inches high by 5.6 inches wide. This Moche ceramic is an early blackware example, and has a solid black/brown glaze over a light brown terracotta. This piece is in the form of a manta ray, and is seen in an upright position with its wings and tail section acting as support legs. This upright design allows the viewer to see a raised head that has anthropomorphic features, such as an open round eye at each side of the head, an open mouth seen where the gills of the manta ray would have been seen, and nostrils above the mouth. The gills of the manta ray are also seen below the mouth area and between the extended wings that form a base for the piece. In addition, the gills of the manta ray seem to emphasize the anthropomorphic head just seen above, and this anthropomorphic head is likely depicted morphing into a full human head, or vice-versa, from a human into a manta ray. The anthrpomorphic head seen on this piece is also enlarged, and according to Christopher Donnan in "Moche art of Peru", University of California, Los Angeles, CA., 1978, p.30: "Depiction of humans or anthropomorphized creatures involves a standard enlargement of the hands and heads. Sexual organs may also be enlarged for emphasis, although normally they are small relative to the size of the body, or are simply not indicated." The x-rare piece offered here has attractive and extensive root marking, has some minute spotty black mineral deposits, and is intact with no repair/restoration. Another extremely rare Moche manta ray ceramic type of nearly the same size of the piece offered here is seen in the Larco Museum Collection, Lima, Peru. (See attached photo. The Larco example is not a blackware piece, and has extended wings with a human face seen underneath.) The piece offered here is seldom seen in many old collections, and this is an excellent indicator that this piece is an extremely rare type. Ex: Galerie Arte Andino, Munich, Germany, circa 1980-1986. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, circa 1986-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL test from Gutachten Lab., no. 638646, dated Dec. 5th, 1986.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:

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