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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Zoomorphic Vessels : Animal Effigy Vessel of a Raccoon
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Animal Effigy Vessel of a Raccoon - PF.4613
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 15" (38.1cm) high
Catalogue: V24
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The ability to infuse an object with life elevates it from the ordinary into art. This delightful vessel resembles a raccoon with the dark band across the eyes. It is perched on its hind legs in a position raccoons adopt when they are feeding, or in this case cleaning it. The Costa Rican ceramic artists are noted for their realism, which must have come from a very careful study of animals. The body of the raccoon is plump, while the feet are small by comparison. The clever spout could also act as a tail, though positioned quite high. A vessel such as this seems most likely to have been made for household use; as part of a wealthy family's home where its whimsy and charm would have been appreciated. It would not only have served a useful purpose as a container, it would also have made an excellent model for children to learn about the animals that inhabited their land. - (PF.4613)


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