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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Terracotta Polychrome Tripod Bowl
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Terracotta Polychrome Tripod Bowl - PF.3968
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1100 AD to 1550 AD

Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The use of animal heads as legs for bowls was popular in Ancient Costa Rican ceramic art, particularly in the late Period VI. They provide a solid base with dramatic effect, especially when so cleverly made as in the case of this bowl. The heads are an amalgamation of animal and bird, of jaguar and parrot or falcon, with added elements of horns and flat foreheads that gives them a mythical appearance similar to griffins. The highly detailed flared rim and interior combines many diverse geometric shapes into a unified whole. A bird motif is repeated over the legs, set in a square with double black borders. Rich red slip is brilliantly set against the cream background and used for the most impressive effect over every portion. The end result is a powerful object that probably graced the table of a wealthy nobleman. - (PF.3968)


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