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Moche Skeletal Portrait Head Ancestor Vessel

Moche Skeletal Portrait Head Ancestor Vessel


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1054243
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This interesting Moche vessel is in the form of a skeletal head, and it dates circa 200-500 A.D. This piece is approximately 6 inches high, and is intact with no repair/restoration. This piece is mold made from a light brown terracotta, and there are spotty dark black and brown dotted deposits. This piece has a great deal of eye appeal, as the eyes and mouth are framed with shrunken skin not unlike a death skull. There is some academics that think this type of Moche portraiture displays an ancestor from the underworld, or it may portray a sacrifical victim that is seen with his skin ceremoniously flayed back away from the face. Whatever the case may be, there are many Moche vessels that portray a skeletal figurine, and there is likely a spiritual and/or underworld connection to this genre of Moche art. This piece has a flat bottom and is also designed with an upward tilt, in order that the face looks upward at the viewer. This piece is truly a powerful Moche image, and may also represent a "transformation" piece that may be a bridge between the living and the underworld. Ex: Andrea Sarmiento collection, Miami, FL. Ex: Erika Roman estate, Santa Cruz, CA. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: