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X-Rare Moche Erotic Vessel with Seated Woman and Spirit Figure

X-Rare Moche Erotic Vessel with Seated Woman and Spirit Figure


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1352271
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 $8,675.00 
$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 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.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: