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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Polychrome Jaguar Effigy Vessel
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Polychrome Jaguar Effigy Vessel - PF.4661
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 33.5" (85.1cm) high
Collection: Precolumbian
Medium: terracotta


Additional Information: Sold

Location: United States
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Description
This fantastic vessel is a highly stylized representation of a jaguar, composed of a large pear-shaped jar with tripod legs, two of which are modeled on a jaguar's hind legs, the third being its tail. An impressive head is attached on the upper portion spaced between the two legs. Its open mouth and exposed white fangs are typical of the style, as are the serrated collar and bib. The legs are painted with a wonderfully lacy representation of stylized jaguar heads silhouetted against the dark brown background. Around the rim is a very complex design including a man-jaguar profile with a feathered headdress, long and short dashes, squares within squares and interlacing circles; all coming together to create a magical setting. The jaguar's face is particularly expressive, with very lively and mischievous eyes. In many such vessels the legs and mouth contain a rattle which suggests they were used in ceremonies and ritual processions. Perhaps it was intended to hold special offerings for the gods and therefore placed in tombs awaiting the dawning of a new life. - (PF.4661)

 

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