Ceramic whistle (Ocarina) in the form of a shell, the body painted brown and red over a cream background, a suspension hole at one end for attachment.
Once dismissed as mere toys or playthings, modern x-ray technology revealed hidden chambers that allowed for the creation of up to 17 different notes in some cases as well as musically advanced scales. Far from being toys, the ocarinas of antiquity are marvels of design and musical knowledge. Highly developed, they were included in a system of perfect harmony before the West developed anything similar. It is now believed ocarinas were played in sacred ceremonies to induce healing, trance, and invoke different deities and are still used today by many of the surviving indigenous cultures.
Dimensions: length: 4 1/2 inches (11.43 cm)
Condition: Overall surface wear, most significantly at the top corners and bottom edge from use, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Collection of Maurice Bernstein, NYC and FL, acquired 1960’s - 1970’s, collection number 885, with original collection sticker still attached.