Antiquities, artifacts and ancient art by Riverbend Gallery. Specializing in Pre-Columbian
Fine Colima Dog Figure, Pre-Columbian West Mexico

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Sculpture: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1165412

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Riverbend Gallery
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Georgia, USA

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Fine Colima Dog Figure, Pre-Columbian West Mexico
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Circa100 B.C. – 200 A.D. This fine Comala type of Colima hollow dog figure measures approximately 11 ˝” long by about 7 ˝” tall and about 6” wide. It depicts a hand-modeled fat, or perhaps pregnant, dog figure, believed by scholars to represent the hairless breed of dog known as the “Escuincle” from the ancient West Mexican regions.

The sense of body volume, contour and naturalistic pose on this example reveal an impressive attention to detail and ability to portray realism on the part of the ancient maker. The eyes and mouth are incised, and the tail opens to the internal cavity, indicative features of the Comala phase style.

Dogs were important to the ancient inhabitants of the West Mexican regions. In addition to practical importance, it is believed that dogs played a role in guiding the deceased safely to their place of inhabitation in the afterlife. It is likely for this reason that dog vessels such as this example were interred with important deceased individuals in their shaft tombs- to symbolically accompany them in the afterlife.

Condition: Intact overall with no restoration, and with only a minor repair of a clean break at the dog’s right rear leg, which was simply re-glued with no loss or fill. The re-glued break line at the leg is so clean and tight that it is nearly unnoticeable except under close examination. The surface of this example has survived in excellent condition, having been protected by ancient mineral encrustation, and has been gently cleaned in modern times to reveal the burnished, reddish brown original surface. Heavy mineral encrustation remains visible in the interior cavity at the tail opening, and areas of encrustation, root marks and mineral deposits remain on the exterior overall, attesting to the age and authenticity of this example. Otherwise, only minor weathering, wear and abrasions overall.

Provenance: Old Florida private collection, collected in the 1950’s.

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