Description: Pre-Columbian, Panama, Cocle, ca. 800 to 1000 CE. A beautifully painted polychrome pottery vessel of orange, red, chocolate brown, and cream hues, boasting a lovely rounded form with a short neck and flat rim. This piece hails from the Gran Cocle Pre-Columbian kingdom of Central America or present-day Cocle province. Cocle ceramics include some of the most intriguing expressions of visual culture in Prehispanic Central America. Beyond its elegant form, this piece uses design as a visual language. The vessel is decorated with four panels, two trapezoid-shaped panels featuring highly abstracted saurian-like forms and two arched panels featuring a pair of symmetrically arranged avian/serpent/sawfish forms. To the ancient Panamanians, these exquisitely painted motifs would have conjured a known mythic or Shamanic being. Beneath the panels are three chocolate brown lines underscoring the entire composition. The neck is painted orange and delineated with a complementary chocolate brown line at its base. Beyond the figural iconography, geometric design elements on Cocle pottery were imbued with powerful symbolism, usually referring to the gender constructs. For additional information on iconography, see Armand J. Labbe's "Guardians of the Life Stream" (Bowers Museum of Art, 1995). A gorgeous piece replete with nice manganese blooms. Size: 6.75" W x 5.375" H (17.1 cm x 13.7 cm)
Provenance: Ex-NYC collection, Ex-Poway southern California collection
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Condition Report: Repair and in-painting to probe hole at eye of one saurian creature. Minor in-painting to upper register. Stabilized pressure crack down rim. A few chips and restoration to rim. Nice manganese deposits.
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