Lot 68B: Rare Colima Pottery Lidded Drum - Snake Motif
October 27, 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A stunning cylindrical, lidded vessel, the walls adorned with four coiled, double-headed serpents in relief, each end with puncuate eyes and incised horizontal markings. The flat lid sits nicely on top. The bicephalic serpent (or dragon) was a signifier of high rank in various Pre-Columbian world views. These two-headed beasts were regarded as sky bands that arched over the earth or surrounded the seas serving as a passageway for the planets and stars of the celestial realm. This motif decorated wares associated with individuals of high rank, thus associating them with the powers of this mighty creature. Beyond this, even the singular serpent is a fascinating element of Pre-Columbian iconography as it was regarded to be a beneficial source of nourishment and at the same time quite deadly with its poisonous venom. Also important to the indigenous was the fact that snakes shed their skin annually thus rejuvenating themselves and serving as symbols of renewal and good health. A brilliant example from the Colima culture, replete with highly symbolic iconography and the finest artistry. Size: 7.25" in diameter x 5.5" H (18.4 cm x 14 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Private New York Collection
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Condition Report: Lid repaired from 3 to 5 pieces. Surface covered with nice root marks and manganese deposits.