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Scarce Sacred Moche Owl Priest with Raised Platform: Ex Marschall

Scarce Sacred Moche Owl Priest with Raised Platform: Ex Marschall


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1367808
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This scarce Moche piece is an owl priest seated on a raised platform, and dates circa 300-500 A.D., Moche III-IV Periods. This powerful piece is approximately 9.4 inches high, and has vibrant dark red and cream colors. This piece depicts a Moche priest in a full owl costume with a mask and wings, a raised crown, and ceremonial bracelets. He is also seen seated on a ceremonial throne that is perched atop a multi-layered platform. The owl priest also depicts 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", is also defined as "Figure B", who is also handing a goblet with sacrificial blood to a principle figure in the scene. 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. The eyes of the owl priest's mask are very animated, and the overall piece has very high eye appeal. This piece is intact, with no apparent repair/restoration, and has some minute black spotty mineralization. This piece also has a flat bottom and is very stable. Ex: Gunther Marschall collection, Hamburg, Germany, circa 1970's. Ex: Private German collection. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL authentication document from Kotalla Lab, Germany, no. 36R270317.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: