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Lot 68A: Costa Rican Kneeling Female - Meticulously Polychromed
27 October 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Pre-Columbian, Central America, Costa Rica, ca. 800 to 1200 CE. A kneeling female pottery figure, particularly striking for its extensive decorative program. The contours of her entire voluptuous body are covered with striated, cross-hatched, circular, and spiral motifs, painstakingly and finely painted in hues of black, red, and cream. These may be interpreted as body art, perhaps body painting or tattooing, or they may represent articles of scant clothing or textiles, ie a short pant-like garment on her lower body. Also adorning her body are a multi-strand beaded necklace, armlets, ear ornaments, and a headband. Note how her femininity is pronounced, as the sculptor emphasized her ample hips, rounded bottom, and perky breasts. What's more, if you look closely, you will also see a subtly protruding womb, perhap suggesting her fertile state. An impressive figure from the ancients of Central America, particularly unique for its intricate painted embellishments. Size: 6-3/4" x 4-1/2" (17 cm x 11.4 cm).
Provenance: Ex-private Olan collection, California, by family descent, acquired 1960 to 1970.
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Condition Report: Nearly invisible nick to foot. Expected surface wear due to age.