Stirrup vessel ”Moche”


The Moche-culture, Northern Peru, c. 300CE, private collection from Denmark.

The Moche civilization (also called Mochica or Pre-Chimú) flourished in northern Peru from c. 100AD to 700AD. The Moche are particulary noted for their elaborately painted ceramics, gold work and monumental constructions (Huaca del Sol & Huaca del la Luna).

Pre-Columbian art encompasses the artefacts created by the indigenous peoples from the second millennium BC to the time of arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, when the existing culture were conquered by the Europeans.

Beyond the more familiar civilisations such as the Incas and the Maya, smaller ethnic groups were able to develop their own distinctive cultures and artistic style. Many of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European colonies and are known only through archaeological investigations and oral history.

This wonderful blackware stirrup vessel depicts jaguar. The jaguar symbolized power and might throughout the Pre-Columbian world. Warriors, hunters, political leaders and shamans alike associated themselves with this ferocious and most powerful feline in the New World. Its hunting technique includes jumping at the head of its prey - an appropriate symbol for decapitation, another recurring ancient Peruvian theme.

This unique piece is in good condition. Age-related wear. Minor crack in the rim of the spout. Traces of soil. Size approx. 13cm x 13cm.