Apolonia Ancient Art offers ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian works of art Apolonia Ancient Art
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All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1377885
Apolonia Ancient Art
$925.00
This superb vessel is a Chimu/Lambayeque blackware stirrup-vessel that dates circa 1100-1400 A.D. This intact vessel is approximately 8.5 inches high, and has a solid black lustrous glaze with some attractive dark brown burnishing. There is some minute spotty black mineral deposits, and this intact piece is in superb condition with no repair/restoration. This piece shows a bust of a god with projecting serpent heads on each side of the central spout, four panels on the upper shoulder with facing nobles with collars and crested "tumi-type" headdresses, and a single handle with two attached prone adoration figures that are facing one another. The god bust has fine incised facial details, and may represent the legendary Lambayeque king "Naymlap". The two facing prone figures seen on the handle may be depicted as "riding" or "flying" on the handle, which also refers to the myth of "Naymlap", who was thought to have flown into the sky. This vessel may also be a "ceremonial type" vessel that was used for libations, and the vessel offered here has exceptional surfaces, and is more detailed than other vessels of this type. Another analogous example is seen in Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, May 27, 1998, no. 244. ($500.00-$700.00 estimates, $460.00 realized. See attached description/photo.) Ex: Private German collection, circa 1980's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1184568
Apolonia Ancient Art
$2,875.00
This superb vessel is a Moche fineline ceramic that dates circa 450-600 A.D., Moche IV-V periods. This vibrant piece is approximately 12.2 inches high by 6.5 inches in diameter, and is in intact condition with bright dark red and cream colors. This complete piece has no repair/restoration, some attractive light brown burnishing with some minute spotty light brown mineral deposits. There is a small probe hole seen near the base on one side which is also commonly seen on many authentic Moche ceramics. This piece also has a flat bottom and two lively running serpent warriors facing left, which are carrying shields/maces in an extended arm, and are seen with a bended extended leg. The fineline painting, along with the "wave motifs" seen on the raised stirrup, are painted in a vibrant dark red slip. This piece is one of only a few recorded examples that was likely painted by the same hand of a singular master painter, and is very analogous to the example seen in the Sackler collection. (See "Art of the Andes: Pre-Columbian Sculptured and Painted Ceramics from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections", Arthur M. Sackler Foundation Pub., Washington, D.C., p. 181, no. 58. See attached photo.) These serpent warrior examples are also thought to have been found in one geographic location, i.e Chimbote in the Santa Valley, and this theory also supports the premise that this piece was painted by an individual master painter. (This theory is also mentioned by Paul Clifford in the Sackler reference noted above.) The Sackler example and the superb example offered here, both show a coiled serpent body which conveys movement, a lively open mouth, dotted eye, and dark red trefoil body spots. This serpent warrior anthropomorphic composition conveys not only movement, but also a lively expression, which in combination makes this piece a master Moche composition. The anthropomorphic running serpent warriors composition also is a representation seen within the Moche spirit world, and may represnt the resurrection of a Moche warrior. This piece is a rare to scarce type, and is seldom seen on the market. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, circa 1980-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL test document from Gutachten Lab, no. 3821027., dated Nov. 27th, 1982, and EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1341167
Apolonia Ancient Art
$8,675.00
This superb Olmec seated figurine dates to the Intermediate Olmec Period, circa 900-600 B.C., and is approximately 3.6 inches high, by 1.9 inches wide, by 1.75 inches deep. This piece is intact, with no repair/restoration, and was carved from a light to dark green serpentine stone. This piece also has some spotty light black to dark green dotted inclusions seen within the stone, and a light brown patina seen in the deep recesses of the figurine. There is also some spotty minute root marking, and some faint traces of red cinnabar. This piece likely depicts a shaman seen in the seated position, and it is a complete carved figure that is finished in the round. This attractive piece also sits upright without falling over, as this piece also has a flat to slightly outward curved underside that provides a solid base. The arms and hands are seen resting on the knees of the crossed legs, and the oval shaped head is seen slightly tilted to the left. The entire body appears to be nude, as are most Olmec figurines of this type, and the facial expression also features the typical downward turned thick lips and horizontal deep carved eyes. The mouth design with the thick lips that are downturned, is also known as the "Olmec jaguar mouth", and is the prominent design feature of the piece offered here. The "jaguar mouth" seen on this piece is also thrust forward towards the viewer, and was an intentional design of the artist, and one can easily see this design feature as one looks at this figurine from the side in profile. The slight tilt of the head also accentuates the design of the face, and gives this piece a great deal of expression. The wide nose has two small bow drilled holes for the nostrils, and in addition, there are two bow drilled holes seen at each end of each eye. The overall face design is one that is seen as a "transformation" type face, from human to jaguar, or vice-versa. The seated and/or kneeling pose of this figurine is also known as the "transformation shaman pose", which is associated with Olmec figurines that are thought to depict a shaman in various stages of transformation from human to jaguar, and vice-versa. (See "The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership", by F. Kent Reilly III, Princeton University, Abrams Pub., 1995, pp. 27-45.) The superb Olmec figurine offered here is an excellent example of Olmec "transformational" type art, and is seldom offered on the market in this condition. This piece also has an extensive authentication examination report from Stoetzer, Inc., Miami, FL., report #010514.1, dated 02/09/2014; and was also authenticated by Robert Sonin, New York, c/o Arte Primitivo, New York. Ex: Edmund Budde Collection, circa 1950's. Ex: Arte Primitivo, New York, circa 1990's. Ex: Private New York collection. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including the authentication examination report noted above.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1215119
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,275.00
This piece is a Mayan terracotta that dates from the Late Classic period, circa 600-900 A.D., and is approximately 6 inches high by 7.5 inches wide by 4.5 inches deep. This piece has powerful eye appeal, as it shows the Mexican rain god Tlaloc with large round eyes, scrolled upper lip, and exposed tooth row. This complete piece is a very large applique that was part of a extremely large vessel which may have had several of these applied appliques that ran around the outside of the vessel. There is original white pigment seen over the exposed teeth and round eyes, root marking seen in sections of the piece, and there are light brown and gray earthen deposits seen over the entire piece. The condition of this piece is intact, with little apparent crack fill, and this piece appears to have broken cleanly away from the main body of the vessel. A wall section of this large vessel also forms the backside of the piece offered here. The mix of Mexican and Mayan motifs in the Late Classic period is not uncommon, and another example of a Mayan terracotta with the Mexican rain god Tlaloc can be seen in "Pre-Columbian Art: The Morton D. May and The Saint Louis Art Museum Collections" by Lee Parsons, New York, 1980, no. 318, p. 205. The Mexican rain god Tlaloc has also appeared since the Early Classic period in the Maya zone, and is often related to scenes of "autosacrifice" involving the nobility, in which they self extract and offer their own blood. This "blood letting ceremony", as an offering to the gods, is also a metaphor for rain, although the Maya had their own rain deity, Chaac. The piece offered here may also have been part of a large ceremonial blood letting vessel. In relation to the letting of blood, the Tlaloc deity also appears on war shields, as seen on Mayan terracotta figures. This piece is scarce to rare, and sits on a custom black metal stand. Ex: E. Duncan collection, Stilwell, Kansas, circa 1980's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1372853
Apolonia Ancient Art
$2,875.00
This powerful piece is a seated Vicus/Early Mochica shaman lord that dates circa 400-200 B.C., Early Intermediate Period. This piece is approximately 9 inches high, by 6.3 inches wide from elbow to elbow. This powerful looking piece is a seated shaman/lord that is seen with crossed legs and his hands resting on each knee. His elbows are also extended outwards, which adds to the regal visual impact of this rare Andean ceramic. He is seen wearing a skull cap that extends down to the middle of his back and "barrel-designed" torso. He is also seen wearing thick bracelets, and appears to have nude arms and upper chest. There are also sacred "wave-pattern" facial tattoos, and large ears that have a small vent hole centered within each ear. The most distinct feature of this regal seated shaman/lord, is his single "dotted-designed" protruding right eye, which is also visually enhanced with his missing left eye. This piece also has very realistic facial features, and it may be that the missing eye was lost in battle, or that the entire face seen is one that is undergoing a state of "transformation", from the living to the spirit world, or vice-versa. This exceptional piece has a thick red and cream colored glaze, with some spotty black mineral deposits. This piece is also intact, save for a small filled connection hole at the back of the vessel, as this piece was the forepart of a two-chambered vessel. The back chamber may also have been ceremoniously broken away, as this piece may also have been a sacred ceremonial offering. This piece also foreshadows the early Mochica I Period vessels that have an analogous glaze, and is a rare transitional type piece. This piece not only has a very powerful spiritual presence, but is also an extremely rare type not often seen on the market. Ex: Dr. Ernst Fischer collection, Germany, circa 1980's. Ex: Private German collection, circa 2000. Published: Suddeutschen Zeitung, Jan. 2010. (Note: Additional documentation is included to the purchaser, including a TL authenticity lab test from Kotalla Lab, Germany, June 1991, no. 1391607, and EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #853880
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,675.00
This rare vessel is from the Moche culture, that dwelled in modern day northern Peru, dates circa 500-700 A.D. and is from the Moche IV phase of ceramic development. This piece is intact with no repair/restoration, is in mint quality condition, and is approximately 8.25 inches high. This red-brown and cream colored ceramic is a rare piece, as it is a type of vessel known as a "sacrificial rite vessel". This piece has six figures on the vessel including a Moche standing owl deity seen at the center, a sea lion, a cormorant, a hooded male figure, an ocean skate(?), and a crab. All of the five figures that run around the main body of this stirrup-type vessel are all seen emerging from the background, and may represent their emerging into or from the spirit world. These figures are seen in high relief from the main body of the vessel, as they were individually mold made, and this production process took a great deal of skill and time relative to intregrating these images into the production of this ceramic. The standing owl deity seen at the center, which may also represent a priest in costume, is also the Moche deity that is seen in the "Presentation Theme", which is a Moche ceremony of sacrifice as defined by Christopher Donnan. (See "Moche Art of Peru" by Christopher Donnan, University of California, Los Angeles, CA., 1978, pp.158-174.) This Moche owl deity, seen in the "Presentation Theme" as defined by Donnan which is also identified as "Figure B", is a priest seen in an owl-hooded costume holding a goblet with blood from the sacrifice. There are also other known Moche ceramic vessels that portray this figure, as seen in the work noted above (Nos. 248 and 271.). The owl was sacred to the Moche because of it's night vision and sharp hunting skills at night, and because of their nocturnal nature, they were associated with death and were thought to travel between the living and spirit world. There are examples of Moche ceramics with a captive tied to the back of the owl, and this may represent the owl carrying the captive to the other world. The standing owl, seen in combination with the five figures that run around the main body of this vessel, are all related to Moche ceremony and sacrifice. The active red-brown sea lion depicted on this piece shows several round objects, seen at the front of the eye and on the stomach area, and are round stones that the sea lions frequently cough up when they are hunted. These stones were considered sacred by the Moche and were thought to have extremely powerful medicinal properties. The lively artistic style of the sea lion is exceptional, and has a great deal of expression. The hooded male figure, seen at the front of the vessel, may represent a sacrificial victim. It is interesting to note that one of the owl's feet appear to grip and morph into the hood that is seen on the male figure that is placed just below the body of the owl. The crab is also interesting in that the crab has anthropomorphized human-like eyes. The owl is also thought to represent the "magical flight" ecstatic trance state that was performed by Moche shamans and priests. The owl seen on this vessel also has a human designed eye, and may represent a shaman and/or priest in costume, or is in a state of transformation. (This ecstatic trance state was first described in 1638 by Antonio de la Calancha, in the historical Spanish document "Cornica Moralizada del Orden de San Augustin en el Peru, Con Sucesos Egemplares an esta Monarquia", Barcelona, Spain.) The ceramic offered here may represent the owl as presiding over the Moche sacrifices that are offered to the other world, due to the many attributes of the Moche owl deity as noted above, and as such is known as a "sacrificial rite vessel". (One of the few examples of this type of vessel was offered by Arte Primitivo, New York, June 2005, no. 329, $12,000.00-$15,000.00 estimates. The vessel offered by Arte Primitivo is also red-brown and cream colored, 10.5 inches high, and is Moche IV phase. See attached photo.) Ex: S. Benger collection, Germany, circa 1970's. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1990's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1352271
Apolonia Ancient Art
$8,675.00
This extremely rare ceramic is a Moche culture piece that dates to the Moche Period IV, circa 400-600 A.D. This erotic piece is approximately 8 inches high, by 7.8 inches wide, and is in intact mint quality condition with no repair/restoration. This piece also has superb surfaces with some attractive spotty dark black deposits, and some dark brown burnishing. This piece is a Moche "stirrup type" vessel, and has a dark red spout, along with two attached figures that is a seated woman wearing a dark orange/brown hooded cloak, and necklace; and a seated spirit figurine that is also seen wearing a cream colored cloak, ear flares, and a decorative hat with a tie that runs under the chin. The decorative hat also has some dark red "line design" features, and is of the type depicted on Moche "portrait type" vessels. The seated woman appears to be expressionless, and has one hand on her abdomen, and the other arm is seen grasping the back of the seated spirit figure. The seated spirit figure also has one arm behind the back of the seated woman, and the other hand is tucked under the cloak of the seated woman and appears to be engaged in the act of masturbating the woman's genital organs. The woman also appears to have an open eyed serene, but transfixed expression. The spirit figure also has a wide smile with his tongue extended out, and in addition to the narrowing almond eyes, these facial features convey a very powerful and licentious expression. The facial expressions of both figures seen on this piece, together portray an erotic image that is so well executed, one could easily label this piece a masterpiece of Moche erotic and pre-Columbian art. The face of this spiritual being is also humanoid, as the extended lower jaw and mouth have primate features. This piece truly conveys Moche erotic art at it's height, and in the Moche mind, the erotic composition of this vessel may have simply referred to the human nature of reproduction and the joy of sex, which in their mind, was a gift from their gods. The exceptional piece offered here is extremely rare, and the only other known recorded example of this type is seen in the Museo Larco Museum in Lima, Peru. (This Museo Larco Museum piece is also published in "Checan: Essays on Erotic Elements in Peruvian Art", by Rafael Larco Hoyle, Nagel Pub., 1965, p. 121. This piece was also likely produced from the same molds as the piece offered here. See attached photo.) Another reason why Moche erotic vessels of this type are extremely rare, is that the Spanish colonizers who uncovered Moche erotic vessels regarded these pieces as manifestations of something sinful. The Spanish were scandalized by the ceramic's graphic detailing of sex between humans, skeletons, animals, and Moche anthropomorphic deities; and according to Northwestern professor of Anthropology and Sexuality Studies Mary Weismantel: "Moche sex pottery is the largest and most graphic and explicit of all pre-Columbian cultures." The colonial Spanish were shaken to their Catholic core, and over the years, they smashed numerous and rare examples of Moche erotic pottery to bits, and even criminalized the ownership of such pottery, as these Moche erotic ceramics often depicted premarital and non-reproductive sex acts. Even today, the erotic collection of Moche pottery seen at the Museo Larco Museum in Lima, is kept in a secluded separate room. A few years ago they were kept under lock and key at the bottom of the Museum of Archaeology, reserved for only the most educated of eyes; those of social scientists and scholors, and for the rest of the population, the erotic pottery was deemed far too provocative. It's also interesting to note that this piece shows no nudity relative to both of the figures seen on this powerful piece, as they are both fully clothed, but yet, it is the provocative nature of this piece that truly defines this piece as a masterpiece of pre-Columbian art. This extremely rare piece also has a TL Authenticity test document from Gutachten Lab, Germany, no. 03250811. Ex: Dr. Gottfried Freiherr von Marienfels collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Private German collection. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including the TL document noted above, and EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1169806
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,675.00
This large piece is a "Veracruz" culture standing priest, Remojadas type, that dates from the Classic period, circa 450-650 A.D. This piece is approximately 22.5 inches high, and easily stands by itself on a custom wooden stand. This piece is of an artistic style, known as "Remojadas", which is the name of a particular archaeological site, although objects in closely related styles actually come from a number of different sites in Veracruz. The name "Remojadas" thus refers to objects from south-central Veracruz, generally from the Classic-period. This piece is also known as a "Xipe-Toltec" type priest, as he portrays the god in costume. The "Xipe-Toltec" cult flourished along the Gulf Coast of modern day Mexico during the Classic and early Postclassic periods before gaining a prominent place in the Aztec pantheon, probably as a result of the subsequent Aztec domination of the Gulf Coast in the mid-15th century. Most Xipe figures vividly depict a human inside a flayed skin of another man, and this god was known as "Our Lord the Flayed One". According to Charles Phillips in "Aztec and Maya", Lorenz Pub., London, 2007, p. 62: "Victims killed in honour of Xipe Totec, the god of planting and vegetation, were shot with arrows so that their blood flowed into the earth like life-giving waters. Indeed, the Aztecs called human blood "chalchiuatl" (precious water). The corpse was then flayed and a priest would wear the skin in honour of the god. The rite was a celebration of the splitting of seeds that makes possible the growth of new vegetation each spring." Mary Miller and Karl Taube in "Ancient Mexico and the Maya", Thames and Hudson Pub., London, 1993, p. 188 also add: "At the time of the Conquest the Xipe festival fell during the spring, in our month of March, and much of its imagery suggests agricultural renewal: as a seed germinates, it feeds off the rotting hull around it, finally letting the new shoot emerge. The Xipe impersonators wore the old skins until they were rotten, when the young man once again emerged." The Xipe-Toltec piece offered here displays a priest wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim, as seen with the rolled skin folds seen hanging below the neck, the skin leggings, the skin bundles tied at the back shoulder and the right hip, and the human skin mask. There are black-bitumen painted highlights seen on the headband with medallions, earplugs, lips, and eyes. There are also black-bitumen painted extruded eyeballs that are seen hanging from the eye openings, and the black lips accentuate an open mouth that shows this dramatic figurine chanting in a ritual posture. This expressive figure is also holding a floral designed fan with petals, which may represent the Xipe ritual of regeneration. This piece is made from a light gray terracotta, and has light tan mineral deposits. This complete piece was repaired from several large fragments, which is usually the case for large-scale Veracruz pieces such as this, and this piece is a better example than what is usually seen. The floral fan is an attribute that is seldom seen as well, and this is a principle reason why this large example is a scarce to rare type. The floral fan also indicates that the individual depicted is likely in the act of performing the "Xipe-Toltec" regeneration ceremony, along with the fact that this priest is seen with an open mouth who appears to be chanting in the act of the regeneration ceremony which ensured the planting and growth of the new years crops. The majority of these figurines are seen simply standing in an upright position, and are not seen holding any implements of any sort, but more importantly, the majority of these Veracruz "Xipe-Toltec" figurines do not display a dramatic facial expression such as this example. (Another Veracruz "Remojadas" example of this type and of the same size is offered in Bonhams African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian Art, New York, Nov. 2012, no. 3. $8,000.00-$12,000.00 estimates, $10,000.00 realized.) For the type offered here see: "Ancient Art of Veracruz", Ethnic Arts Council of Los Angeles, 1971, no. 31. The piece offered here is definitely ceremonial in nature, and easily conveys this fact to the viewer, which is not often the case relative to figurines of this type. Ex: Private CA. collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Bonhams Art & Artifacts of the Americas auction, San Francisco, Sept. 2012, no. 1039. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1178207
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,675.00
This piece is a Moche ceramic stirrup-jar that dates circa 450-600 A.D., Moche IV-V periods. This interesting piece is approximately 9.75 inches high, and is intact with no repair/restoration. This piece has some minute black spotty mineral deposits, and has some light brown burnishing. This piece has light orange/red highlights over a cream colored background, and is a very detailed Moche fineline ceramic. This lively piece shows two detailed and animated "Strombus Monsters", which are seen facing right and are seen on each side of the vessel. These composite creatures are seen wearing a conch shell, from which they are seen emerging, and they display a lively open mouthed pose. These creatures have a striped pelage, a tapering tail, a long-spined main that runs down the length of it's back, and four legs with claws. There are also three eyes that extend from the front of the head. According to Christopher Donnan in "Moche Art of Peru", University of California, Los Angeles, CA., 1978, p.63: "On the snout of the monster are antenna-like objects clearly derived from the land snail. There is a likely explanation for the combination of features on this animal. Since conch shells (Strombus galeatus) were imported from Ecuador, the Moche people probably never saw the creature living inside. They may, however, have made an analogy between the creature they thought inhabited the conch shell and the land snail, which is native to the north coast of Peru." There is an analogous comparable to this vessel that is seen in Sotheby's New York, Arts of Africa, Oceania & the Americas, May 2003, no. 207. ($4,000.00-$6,000.00 estimates.) Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, circa 1978-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL document from Gutachten Lab., no. 7579125, dated 11/19/1979, and EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1370666
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,275.00
This superb Chimu silver offering bowl dates circa 1100-1350 A.D., and is approximately 7.4 inches long, by 4,75 inches wide, by 2.3 inches high. This attractive silver vessel was hammered from one single sheet of metal, and was formed into the oval shape seen here. This piece is also slightly thicker at the base, and graduates in thickness from the base to the thinner outer rim. The oval shape and size of this vessel is seen as early as 400 B.C., relative to ceramic vessels of the Olmec, and was a hand-held vessel used in ceremonies. In addition, this vessel has two added dimples, one on each side of the vessel, which also allowed one to easily hold this vessel with one hand. A third dimple was added to the base so that this piece could sit upright without falling over. There is also a punched decorative "cross hatch" design seen on the flat section of the outer rim, and this design is often seen on Chimu silver vessels. (See Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, Nov. 2006, no. 296, that shows a Chimu silver beaker with a "cross hatch" design on the upper rim.) The beautiful example offered here has some spotty black mineral deposits, and a dark gray patina with iridescent silver/gold highlights in sections of the vessel. The condition of this intact piece is superb to mint quality with no repair/restoration, and there are no small dents, cuts, or chips. Ex: Jean-Eugene Lions collection, Geneva, Switzerland, circa 1980's. Ex: Private New York collection. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1177714
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,675.00
This extremely rare piece is a Moche blackware ceramic that dates circa 100 B.C.-200 A.D., Moche 1-II periods. This piece is approximately 6.75 inches high by 5.6 inches wide. This Moche ceramic is an early blackware example, and has a solid black/brown glaze over a light brown terracotta. This piece is in the form of a manta ray, and is seen in an upright position with its wings and tail section acting as support legs. This upright design allows the viewer to see a raised head that has anthropomorphic features, such as an open round eye at each side of the head, an open mouth seen where the gills of the manta ray would have been seen, and nostrils above the mouth. The gills of the manta ray are also seen below the mouth area and between the extended wings that form a base for the piece. In addition, the gills of the manta ray seem to emphasize the anthropomorphic head just seen above, and this anthropomorphic head is likely depicted morphing into a full human head, or vice-versa, from a human into a manta ray. The anthrpomorphic head seen on this piece is also enlarged, and according to Christopher Donnan in "Moche art of Peru", University of California, Los Angeles, CA., 1978, p.30: "Depiction of humans or anthropomorphized creatures involves a standard enlargement of the hands and heads. Sexual organs may also be enlarged for emphasis, although normally they are small relative to the size of the body, or are simply not indicated." The x-rare piece offered here has attractive and extensive root marking, has some minute spotty black mineral deposits, and is intact with no repair/restoration. Another extremely rare Moche manta ray ceramic type of nearly the same size of the piece offered here is seen in the Larco Museum Collection, Lima, Peru. (See attached photo. The Larco example is not a blackware piece, and has extended wings with a human face seen underneath.) The piece offered here is seldom seen in many old collections, and this is an excellent indicator that this piece is an extremely rare type. Ex: Galerie Arte Andino, Munich, Germany, circa 1980-1986. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, circa 1986-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL test from Gutachten Lab., no. 638646, dated Dec. 5th, 1986, and EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1338969
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,265.00
This rare piece is a Chontal culture stone anthropomorphic pendant that dates circa 600-200 B.C., and is approximately 5.5 inches high, by 4 inches deep, by 2.3 inches wide. This interesting piece shows a face emerging from a half moon object that resembles a "crescent half-moon", but this object more likely represents a fruit or a vegetable type, such as a head of maize or a squash. The top of the piece has a segmented extension with a curled end, and this resembles the terminal end of a vegetable type plant where it was connected to the root. The base of the piece also has a curled end which may represent the other terminal end of the vegetable type plant. The well-defined face is seen emerging from the center of the vegetable type plant, and both sides of the face appear to have folded back plant material that frames the face. This facial framed border is comprised of individual "string line-cuts" that are seen in stark contrast to the smooth polished surfaces of the emerging face. The face also has a well defined mouth, nose, and bow drilled eyes. There are two additional bow-drilled holes seen on the top back side, and this allowed this piece to suspend as a pendant, and perhaps this piece was the central element in a sacred necklace. The ancient Chontal created sacred stone pieces such as this piece that were believed to posses magical and fertility powers. This piece is made from a beautiful greenish-brown stone with orange flecks, and in addition, is a scarce to rare stone type which is normally associated with "Chontal" type pieces, rather than "Mexcala" type pieces. For another piece with this scarce to rare stone type see: "In the Heart of Pre-Columbian America, The Gerard Geiger Collection", Milan, 2003, no. 102. (This piece is a mask with notched sides as the piece offered here. See attached photo.) The piece offered here is also analogous to another Chontal mask that has a face designed in profile that is very analogous to the piece offered here. (This piece is also seen in the reference noted above, no. 99. See attached photo.) The piece offered her is much rarer than the more common Chontal masks, as it was designed as a pendant, and the anthropomorphic design with the emerging face is seldom seen. This type of piece may also represent a "transformation" type piece, which also conveys a completely different spiritual meaning than the majority of Chontal masks. This piece also sits on a custom metal stand. Ex: Merrin Gallery, Inv. #680, New York, NY, circa 1980's. Ex: Ebnother collection, Schaffhausen, Germany, circa 1990's. (Note: Additional documentation is provided to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1027901
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,265.00
This interesting piece is a carved jade pendant that is from the Costa Rican region, and dates circa 300 B.C.-500 A.D. This piece is approximately 1.5 inches high, and is part of a complete "axe-god" pendant. This piece likely formed a complete piece that was approximately 4.25 to 4.5 inches high, and may have been string cut into three near equal sections. This beautiful dark green jade piece is the upper section of a complete pendant, and is in the form of an avian head. The dark green color is even throughout the entire piece, and is from a high quality section of the stone from which it was cut. This detailed jade head has superb workmanship, and has bow drilled eyes, wing design cuts seen on each side, and a bow drilled hole through the side which the wearer was able to use in order to suspend this piece as a pendant. This piece was worn by the elite as a "power" type piece, and appears to represent either parrots or owls as emphasized by the tufts as seen at the top of the head. This piece is analogous to two examples that are seen in "Precolumbian Art of Costa Rica", Detroit Institute of Art, Abrams Pub., 1981, no.24 and 26. (See attached photos.) This piece also has an unpolished "septum" that is seen at the back of this piece, and was a result of string cutting a stone into three seperate pieces in order to produce three pendants. (For this manufacturing process see, "Precolumbian Jade" by Frederick W. Lange, University of Utah Press, 1993, pp.270-274.) This piece also has some spotty light brown surface deposits that are seen in several low relief points of the piece. This piece is rare, as it was a segment from a complete "ax-god", and this complete and sacred "ax-god" was likely cut into three segments so that each piece could have been given to family members of the prior owner. The piece offered here, subsequently became a votive grave offering, and the "power" of this piece passed from one generation to another. This type of segmented votive piece was also known to have occurred with the Olmec, as evidenced by Olmec hard stone pieces that are published in "The Olmec World, Ritual and Rulership", Princeton University, Abrams Inc. Pub., 1995, nos. 158 and 159. (The pieces illustrated are both jade masks that were string cut and/or broken into a section, and was then reworked and repolished. It is unknown whether these masks were broken accidentally or for a ritual purpose, but what is known, these pieces were valued as they were reworked and repolished. See attached photos.) The rare votive piece offered here was also reworked and repolished afer it was cut at the bottom, and this type of votive piece is seldom seen in the market, or in private/public collections. This piece is a superb example of Costa Rican jade. This piece is mounted on a custom stand and can easily be removed. This piece can also be easily worn on a cord as well. Ex: Private Mass. collection. Ex: Arte Xibalba, Osprey, Fl. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1381928
Apolonia Ancient Art
$725.00
This piece is a Chimu blackware feline aryballos that dates circa 1100-1400 A.D. This piece is approximately 7 inches high, by 5.5 inches wide from ear to ear, and is in flawless intact condition with no repair and/or restoration. This mold made ceramic has a nice deep even black glaze over the entire outer surface, and some spotty white calcite deposits. The black glaze also has some thicker added glaze that forms some linear designs of the feline, and one such design appears to be cat whiskers. This piece has a powerful feline bust that is formed from the main body of the vessel, and the face appears to be snarling at the viewer with a toothy open mouth. This feline likely represents a jaguar, and this vessel is also a "protector" type vessel. The ears are also seen extended from each side, and there is a raised spout seen rising up from the center of the vessel, which defines this vessel type as an "aryballos". This type of vessel was also subsequently produced by the Chimu/Inka, and was their most common vessel type. The ears also have a hole centered within, and this vessel was also likely a "suspension" type vessel, and this along with the raised spout, easily controlled the flow of a liquid such as "chicha". This piece also has a slightly rounded bottom, and easily stands by itself. A ring base is also included. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1980's-2000's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1234584
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,265.00
This extremely rare piece is a Moche "open topped" jar that dates, Moche V Period, circa 500-700 A.D. This piece is approximately 5.6 inches high, by 5.25 inches wide at the base. This interesting piece is a polychrome black-ware vessel, and has a nice glossy black glazed surface with some attractive dark brown burnishing. This type of Moche "portrait vessel", is generally seen within the Moche V Period, and is often associated with "open topped" vessels with an extended neck, as is seen with this vessel. The extremely rare piece offered here is intact, has some spotty mineralization, and some attractive minute root marking. This piece shows a man with a facial deformity, as the face is seen caved in with a diminutive nose and an extended lower jaw. The man is also seen looking straight ahead with what appears to be a forlorn facial expression. This piece was collected circa 1960's by Dr. Ernst J. Fisher, who collected Moche art/ceramics that were medical related, and often depicted individuals with diseases and/or deformities. The Moche were known for their realistic ceramic portraiture of individuals, and the vessel seen here is a prime example of their skill for realism in portraiture, and it is likely that this piece depicted an actual individual. The most common view of the deformed face of the individual depicted here, is that this deformity was the result of a disease such as Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis (ML), and this disease is found today in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru. ML is contracted from a sand fly bite, and subsequently, ML symptoms include painful nodules inside the nose, perforation of the nasal septum, and enlargement of the nose and lips. Untreated, the disease leads to ulcerated lesions and scarring and tissue destruction predominately in the face and extremities which can be disfiguring (See MedicineNet.com for more information regarding this disease.) This piece likely displays the disease noted above, as the final stage of this disease is a collapse of the nasal septum followed by death. This piece may also have been a votive type piece, as this disease was regarded by the Moche as a sacred sign of the Gods, and consequently, this type of "portrait vessel" is extremely rare. Ex: Dr. Ernst J. Fischer collection, Germany, circa 1960's. Ex: Private German collection. (Note: Additional documentation is included for the purchaser, including EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1234381
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,275.00
This scarce piece is an extremely large Mayan green jadeite tube that dates circa 600-900 A.D. This solid piece is approximately 8.5 inches long by 1.4 inches in diameter, and has a beautiful dark to light green color. The beautiful stone seen here is likely jadeite, rather than serpentine, as it is extremely dense. This interesting piece has a bow-drilled hole at each end which connect near the center, and the bow-drilled holes are approximately .5 to .6 inches in diameter which also slightly narrow within the tube. There is also a layer of gray calcite deposits seen on the inner surfaces, and a light mineralized patina on the outer surfaces as well. This piece is also not perfectly round, has a somewhat rectangular shape, and has a great deal of eye appeal. There is a very strong possibility that this scarce piece was used in Mayan smoking ceremonies, and/or may have been used in Mayan regalia and served as a decorative item in a headdress, a necklace, or a sacred ceremonial object. This piece is also somewhat heavy, as it is likely a dense green jadeite which was sacred to the Maya. According to Francis Robicsek, in "The Smoking Gods", University of Oklahoma Press, 1978, p. 73, Robicsek elaborates on the forehead tube that was used to identify God K: "Forehead tube thought to represent a cigar. This is a fairly constant trademark of this deity. The identification of God K of any portrait lacking the forehead tube is suspect. It is nearly always present on ceramic representations and on stone carvings, but is usually absent from paintings in the codices. The object may be tubular or funnel-shaped, or it may resemble a celt. Sometimes it is undecorated, but more often it is striated, dotted, or marked with oval symbols. It also varies greatly in size and, if painted, in color. As a rule the tube emerges from the forehead; however, in two paintings, both of them on Peten ceramics, it protrudes from the mouth. On most portrayals the handle of the tube is sunk into the head and it is not visible; on others it emerges at the nape. As discussed earlier, these tubes probably represent cigars, but the possibility that they may represent torches or celts cannot be excluded." In addition, the piece offered here may also have been used by the Maya relative to the relationship of the royal elite to God K, and may have been used by the Maya as noted above in some capacity as a decorative element and/or used relative to the smoking culture of the ancient Maya. This piece also sits on a custom display stand. Ex: Private CA. collection, circa 1980's. Ex: Private Arizona collection. Ex: Private CO. collection. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1162134
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,265.00
This interesting piece is an Aztec flint blade which dates circa 1400-1525 A.D. This piece is approximately 6.3 inches high by 2.5 inches wide. This piece is intact, save for a minute chip at one end, and has a beautiful light brown patina with some spotty black mineral deposits. This piece has a small hole near the center of the piece, and this hole is full of minute crystals which are imbedded in the inner cavity, and run to the outer edge of the hole on each side of the piece. It's quite possible that the small hole with crystals was formed from constant mineral drippings, as this piece may have been a ceremonial offering that was buried in a cave or underground tomb. It is interesting to note that the crystals not only extend to the outer edge on each side of the hole, but also over both edges on each side of the piece, and onto the outer carved/chipped planes of the outer flat surfaces near the edge of each side of the hole. This is an indication that the crystal mineralization, and the hole seen on this piece, developed after this piece was carved and buried. The patina and the mineralization are also excellent indicators which go far in establishing the authenticity of this piece, and there are many forgeries of this type of piece that have been on the market. The carving of this piece is exceptional and very well detailed as well, as one can easily see that the carved/chipped planes become smaller towards the edge of the piece, and this forms a blade of elliptical form that has extremely sharp edges. Aztec blades of this type have been used as a lance or knife blade, but the piece offered here was likely used only in a votive context. The flint stone of this piece is also semi-translucent, and according to Eduardo Matos Moctezuma in "The Great Temple of the Aztecs: Treasures of Tenochtitlan", Thames and Hudson Pub., London, 1988, p. 97: "Many objects of flint and obsidian, locally available raw materials, were also made by the Aztec artisans to be deposited in caches. Flint was most frequently chipped into knives and blades. Some of these knives were decorated with with bits of shell and stone mosaic to form little faces in profile, resembling representations of the flint day sign in the Borbonicus. Similarly, obsidian (a volcanic glass) was chipped to form knives and blades with sharp cutting edges, but it was also carefully worked and polished into miniature imitations, such as small heads and rattles of the rattlesnake. Obsidian is an extremely dense and glassy stone, and is a difficult material to work; such miniatures attest to the skill of the Aztec craftsmen. While flint and obsidian implements symbolically and functionally evoke sacrifice and death, more overt evidence of ritual acts can be found in the numerous examples of worked crania. Sometimes a flint knife is placed between the teeth, like a tongue projecting from a grinning mouth, at other times another knife is inserted into the nasel cavity to create an animated image of death. We do not know wheather these objects were used as masks in rituals, or wheather they were made as symbols of death and sacrifice to be placed in offerings." (See attached photo from the text above, p. 98, ill. 80, of a skull mask with two analogous flint blades such as the example offered here.) The piece offered here was likely cermonial and was votive, but in exactly what context it was used, that is not certain, but whatever the case, the piece offered here is an extremely interesting and rare example of the type. This piece also comes with a custom wooden display stand, and can easily be removed. Ex: Private North Carolina collection, circa 1990's. Ex: H. Rose collection, New York. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1281362
Apolonia Ancient Art
$2,865.00
This superb to mint quality vessel is a Moche stirrup vessel that dates circa 300-400 A.D., Moche III Period. This piece is approximately 7.5 inches high, and is in intact condition with vibrant dark red and cream colors. This striking vessel has some minute black spotty mineral deposits and root marking, and has a nice even glaze. This piece is a lustrous deep dark red stirrup vessel, with a cream colored body, and the decorative elements seen on the main body of this vessel are also rendered in a dark lustrous red color. These decorative elements are comprised of two anthropomorphic figures seen moving to the right, with snake-headed tails and trailing snake-headed headdress/ears; and three snakes, with one seen between the stirrup handle, and two others which act as a dividing panel for each of the moving figures. These moving figures are also seen with a serpent-like and/or Iguana-like head, and a single human leg and arm which are extended away from the body, and this Moche convention of art is meant to convey that these figures are in motion. In addition, these figures are seen holding a sacrificial tumi knife in each hand, which may be an indication that this vessel portrays a sacrificial scene, as these moving figures may also be portraying Moche priests in costume who are engaged in a ceremonial sacrificial scene as "spirit gods". These moving figures also appear to be confronting the two facing snakes, and these facing snakes may also be seen as "spiritual sacrificial victims". According to Christopher Donnan in "Moche Fineline Painting: Its Evolution and Its Artists", UCLA Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, Ca., 1999, p. 196-197, Donnan comments further on Moche ceramics of this type: "The paintings of several other artists are stylistically similar to those of the Madrid Painter and the Larco Painter. All are on similar stirrup spout bottles with red spouts and white chambers. Both the red and white slips on these bottles were well prepared. They are covered evenly and completely, with none of the underlying color bleeding through. They painted fineline designs in red slip and added details either by overpainting or the cut-slip technique. Careful burnishing produced a handsome surface luster. These features are very distinctive amoung Phase III painted vessels. Perhaps they were produced in a single workshop." (See attached photo from the above reference, Fig. 6.19, that shows an analogous spiritual figure as seen on the vessel offered here. This piece also shows this figure holding a sacrificial head by the hair. This piece was also classified as being stylistically similar to the Madrid Painter.) The piece offered here is very close stylistically to the Madrid Painter, and may be by this painter and/or an individual who worked in his workshop. Moche vessels of this type are now scarce on the market, as they were only produced during the Phase III Period, and are of an extremely high artistic style. Overall, this piece is a superb intact example with vibrant colors, and is also likely by the Madrid Painter and/or his workshop. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, Germany, circa 1980-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL authenticity test document from Gutachten Lab, Germany, no. 219005, dated 05-15-1990, and EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: