Bowl of the Chancay culture

Object number
Object: Bowl of the Chancay culture

Material: Light clay with beige and black painting.

Period: Circa 1000 AD to 1470 AD.
Time of the Chancay, within the region of modern Peru.

Description:    Bulbous bowl with convex underside. The thin-walled pottery bears roughly executed abstract paintings. Two handles on the sides consist of plastic animal head.
The bowl is a fine example of the Chancay pottery. In its execution and abstract painting, it initially appears simple, but radiates an elegance that still seems modern today.

Background: While the Middle Ages unfolded in Europe, what is now Peru was dominated by a perhaps even more colourful variety of cultures. In the centre of the country, along the coast, the Chancay culture took over the Wari empire in the 11th century and established its own administration and way of life. How exactly this looked like is not known today. What we do know is that the Chancay practised agriculture, fishing and trade with their neighbours. And they did this for centuries with obvious success. Only in the 15th century their territory fell prey to the Inca and their expansionist warfare.
What remains are the ceramics and textiles of this pre-Columbian culture. The pottery really stands out because at first it seems carelessly made, almost clumsy, but therein lies its charm. The abstract patterns and the lightness of the forms have retained their aesthetic appeal to this day. Even more, they seem downright modern and carry a spark of inspiration right up to our own times.

Dimensions: 11.4cm diameter. 6.5cm height.

Condition: Almost perfect condition. Small chip at the lip. Otherwise completely intact with well-preserved original paintwork.

Provenance: Acquired by us on the German art market in 2021. Previously in the German U. C. private collection. Acquired into the collection from Dr. Guenther Hartmann, Berlin, Germany.

References: Cf. Detroit Institute of Arts, accession no. 73.132.

Literature: Alfred Louis Kroeber, The Uhle Pottery Collections from Chancay Peru (Berkeley, 1926).

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.