TITLE: Erotic Huaco CULTURE: Moche, Peru PERIOD: 200 - 400 AD MATERIAL: Terracotta DIMENSIONS: Height 19 cm REF: 20142068 PRICE: 1,800 Euros PROVENANCE: Collection of Alvin M. Cohen, Betheseda, Maryland, USA.CONDITION: In a good state of preservation. DESCRIPTION: A stirrup-handle pottery huaco painted in beige and orange tones depicting a couple taking part in sexual intercourse. The body of the vessel is made up of a circular structure over which have been modelled a naked man on top of a women. Both are covered by a blanket decorated with large dots. The woman's head is resting on a long pillow which suggests that they are lying on a bed of sorts. The stirrup-handle is joined to the man's back in such a way that his genitals can be seen from behind at the bottom of the handle. This is a clear example of erotic pottery, which was very popular among Mochica productions.
The best-known cultural legacy of the Moche people is their ceramic work which generally was to form part of offerings to the deceased. Men, divinities, animals, plants and complex scenes were represented by artists in the form of sculptural images of vessels decorated with brushwork.
Generally speaking, the work is of two colors (red on yellowish cream) although these colors have a wide range of tones, with a tendency to become darker towards the end of the development of the Moche culture.
Most of the Moche ceramic is in the form of the huaco, a closed vessel with a globe-shaped or sculptural body, a flat base, a tubular spout in the form of a stirrup. These have been one of the fundamental ways we have been able to learn about the characteristics of this pre-Hispanic culture, about its society, the natural environment in which it developed and the different periods of its cultural evolution.