RARE Huastec Alabaster Rabbit Pot, Pre-Columbian Mexico
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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre AD 1000: Item # 963925
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A rare carved alabaster vessel depicting a rabbit, from the Huastec (or possibly Aztec) culture of Pre-Columbian Mexico. Measuring approximately 5 1/2" wide by about 5" tall, this vessel was skillfully carved by the ancient artisan from a single piece of alabaster. The walls are amazingly thin, so much so that they are translucent so that light can be seen through the walls if held up to the light. Features were incorporated into the vessel to depict the head and arms of the rabbit on the front, with tripod feet on the bottom. Due to their fragile nature and the vulnerability of alabaster to erosion from the elements, one cannot overstate the rarity of this type of vessel surviving hundreds of years in burial, in any condition.
Condition: Intact with restoration limited to only part of one side of the vessel. Old restoration work has been left visible on the interior of one side, where sherds and/or fragments of clay or other substance were used to reinforce the repair from the interior of the vessel. The exterior area of restoration has been toned with white pigment to better match the surrounding exterior. Two of the tripod feet also suffered some weathering that eroded them slightly smaller than the other foot so that professional restoration was performed to build up the two affected feet, to help the piece stand level. Otherwise, the vessel exhibits a wonderful patina, mineral deposits and root marks overall, while the balance of the vessel retains visibility of the naturally white brilliance of the alabaster from which is was made. Of the few examples that surface, most are in much poorer condition than this one. Note: The tan/brown areas on the exterior are mineral deposits and root marks (these are not repairs or stress cracks), evidencing the age and authenticity of this piece.
Provenance: Former private Arizona, USA collection. Before that, former Arte Primitivo.
A very rare example of Pre-Columbian art that is ready to display.