A large Moche Stirrup Bottle, Moche IV, ca. 500 - 700 CE
The large bottle with globular body, tall neck, and large loop handle, the upper body decorated with two charming red-brown long-necked birds over cream ground, bisected by a red border, the lower body painted brown.
Andean societies thought of birds as precious resources; there was a roaring trade, for example, in parrot and macaw feathers from the Amazon Basin to the Andes so that they could adorn the garments of elites. Many birds appear in ancient Andean artwork, often depicted in ways that emphasized their perceived supernatural qualities and further showing the artisans were familiar with how real birds of many species looked. To the Moche, birds signified prestige, and the bright plumage of the parrot made it particularly valuable.
Dimensions: Height: 9 3/4 inches (25 cm)
Condition: Some scattered surface deposits and scattered surface wear. Handle repaired and reattached, otherwise complete and in very good condition.
Provenance: Estate of David Sheridan, Branchburg, NJ, acquired 1950’s to early 2000’s, then by descent to family.
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