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X-Rare Esoteric Nazca Ceremonial Vessel: Ex Sackler

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X-Rare Esoteric Nazca Ceremonial Vessel: Ex Sackler

About the Piece


This extremely rare piece is an attractive canteen type vessel that has been classified as Nazca culture, circa 500-600 A.D. This piece is approximately 7 inches high by 8.75 inches wide, has a small raised opening, and is heart shaped. This piece also stands by itself, as it has a flat bottom, and is very easy to handle with both hands due to it's "V-shaped" design. This esoteric "V-shaped" piece has a beautiful dark red glaze, and may have been designed to represent a human heart. In addition, this piece has a small extended central top spout, which somewhat resembles a blood vessel for a heart. This piece also has two lug handles, seen on each side of the vessel, and these handles were made in order to suspend the vessel. The suspension of this vessel acted as an aid for one in the careful pouring of a liquid, and as such, this vessel was probably created for ceremonial use. It is also possible that, given the heart shape, the handle design, and the dark red color of this esoteric piece, the liquid contained within this vessel may have been human blood which was used for ceremony. This piece was also lavishly published with a full page color photo in "Art of the Andes, Pre-Columbian Sculptured and Painted Ceramics from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections" by Paul Clifford and Elizabeth Benson, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation and The AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, Washington D.C. publishers, 1983, no. 143. The following description of this piece is seen in the above publication on page 268: "The widest area of this kidney-shaped canteen is at the top. Its short spout has a thickened rim, and loop handles are attached to the sides just below the shoulder. The entire vessel is painted with a red slip. Such a vessel shape does not appear in any of the literature, but there is a similar piece in a New York collection known to the author. (The following is a footnote relative to the New York example: "Seen while on loan to the Duke University Museum.") The surface color and finish are comparable to the Nazca panpipes in Number 142 (See attached photo.), and the bottle is therefore included with the Nazca material, although actual provenance is not known. The minimum age indicated in the thermoluminescence analysis indicates that the piece was fired in antiquity, but does not provide any basis of dating beyond that minimum age. Further technical measurements, such as trace element analysis of the clay and analysis of the slip with which the vessel was painted may, in the future, provide a method for establishing provenance, if comparisons can be made with similar analysis of other objects". (The following is a footnote regarding the two thermoluminescence (TL) tests that were performed on this piece by the Sackler Foundation: "OX-TL reference no. 381f1, 02/08/83 and 05/26/83 estimates that the sample tested has a minimum age of 470 years according to results of two TL tests, one to analyze fading.") The bottom of the piece has an inventory no. N-110, and there are two minute holes which indicate where the two above TL tests were taken. This intact piece is also in mint condition, and has an even glaze that is a brilliant deep red color. This extremely rare piece is also one of the top esoteric vessels, if not the most esoteric vessel offered by the Sackler Foundation. Ex: Arthur M. Sackler collection, accession no. N-110. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:

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