This an EXTREMELY RAREexample of a superbly preserved Pre-Columbian fertility dish attributed to the Mochica Culture of South America. It features a stunning, three-dimensional form of a woman laying on her back nude, with prominent anatomical features. Traces of the beautiful light blue-gray pigment that once dominated the piece, still remain, as does original red pigment to the woman's face. The exact purpose of this dish is not known but most definitely, it would have served as a focal object of fertility rituals and practices amongst these ancient people. There is a suspension hole at the top that is still filled with original sediment. It is possible this dish would have been hung in a shrine or temple dedicated to fertility and used periodically, or kept as a piece intended to make offerings to.
Amazingly, this piece survived INTACT and the only work performed is the filling of a single crack, filling of a few small chips to the rim, and very minor restoration to some areas of faint blue-gray pigment on some areas surrounding the female figure. The red pigment on her face is original as is the vast majority of the main blue-gray traces of pigment.
We have handled an extraordinary number of exceptional Pre-Columbian ceramics over the past 30 years and after a while, very little stands out as interesting. This piece is the exception and it has an incredible amount of personality, presence and sculptural aesthetic seldom seen in most ancient vessels. Ex-Sieben private U.S. collection, originally acquired in 1969.