Lot 90: Michoacan Pottery Zoomorphic Ocarina

Artemis Gallery

July 20, 2017
Louisville, CO, US

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Description: Pre-Columbian, Mexico, Michoacan, ca. 100 to 400 CE. A burnished blackware ocarina representing an animal of questionable identity - Is it a turtle? Perhaps an armadillo? Or my favorite interpretation, a hammerhead shark with legs? The abstract nature of this piece provides endless fodder for a "What's that animal?" game. Regardless of its zoomorphic identity, the animal's back is beautifully incised with repeated zigzags that retain red cinnabar in the crevices, and its body presents a lovely black, burnished surface. What's more it produces lovely musical tones! Size: 3.375" L x 2.625" W (8.6 cm x 6.7 cm)

Provenance: private collection of the late Peter Arnovick, San Francisco, California USA

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Condition Report: Small chip to tail end. Pressure crack on underside. Works as an instrument.
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