CULTURE: Casas Grandes (Ramos Polychrome) ORIGIN: Northern Mexico AGE: Ca.1250 - 1450 A. D. SIZE: 6” at the widest diameter by 8 1/2” in height Description: A truly exceptional Casas Grandes zoomorphic effigy jar. The base color is a soft tan/brown painted in colors of black and deep crimson red. The figure has an upraised extended mouth as if howling. My research on the piece leads me to believe the creature is most likely a badger. The design elements include black and red triangles, stepped pyramids, semi-circles, checkerboard designs on the forehead with a dot in each one, fine line red and black brushwork, and most important and beautiful of all the front and rear of the vessel has two stylized intertwined macaws sporting tall crests. The jar is of the finest quality both in form and decoration and would have been made for an individual with high rank and status of the period. The upper right side of the cowl has had some professional restoration but there is no guesswork as to the image. Pieces of this quality are becoming quite rare whereas simple painted bowl shapes seem to be plentiful. Provenance: By inheritance from an old California collection.