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Early Chavin/Cupisnique Water Carrier: 900-600 B.C.


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 594176
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This Chavin/Cupisnique water carrier is an early type Chavin ceramic and dates circa 900-600 B.C. This piece is intact and is in mint condition with no stress cracks and/or breaks. This large piece is approximately 12.1 inches high, and has a cream and light red polychrome glaze. There is some light brown burnishing seen mostly on the bottom, and there is also a very small drill hole that is seen that was done for a thermoluminescence test (TL test). This TL test was done by the prior private collector in Germany, and it was done by Kotalla Laboratory. This document is included with this piece.(The results of this test place this piece circa 600-400 B.C.) This cute piece has a friendly warm smile and projects an easy going carefree feeling. The design of the face is very simple, and comic-like, but this was probably the intent of the potter/artist. This type of piece is rare for an Andean ceramic, as most Andean cultures such as the Chavin and the Moche were based on a warrior cult that used live captives for sacrifice. The Chavin/Cupisnique produced some of the first and finest ceramics in ancient Peru, and the stirrup-spout seen on this vessel was their invention. This allowed the Chavin/Cupisnique potters to move this piece around in the kiln with a stick, and they were able to produce pieces that had bright colors with even glazes such as this piece. This water carrier may be a representation of a person, but more likely, it is an anthropomorphic form represented as being from the spirit world. There is also a face seen at the front of the main body of the vessel that may double as a clothing design. This piece may also be from the "Cupisnique" culture as noted by Richard Berger in "Chavin and the Origins of Andean Civilization", page 90-99. He notes that this type of ceramic, with it's trapezoidal arch and single spout with the flaring end, are creations of the initial phase prior to the appearance of what we know as true Chavin style ceramics. The TL test seems to support this view. Most early pieces of this type have simple line design details for the eyes, nose, and other facial features/body design as this piece shows. This Chavin/Cupisnique piece is a rare, early type and is a large example. Ex: Private German collection. Ex; Private CA. collection. (Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: