Bowl of the Chancay culture
Flat bowl of the Chancay culture
Light orange clay with beige and black painting.
Circa 1000 AD to 1470 AD.
Time of the Chancay, within the region of modern Peru.
Bowl with a straight wall in a 45° angle and foot ring. The thin-walled pottery bears roughly executed abstract paintings on the inside of the bowl.
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.
11.8cm diameter. 4.5cm height.
Almost perfect condition. Only one small chip at the lip. Otherwise completely intact with well-preserved original paintwork.
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.
Cf. Fowler Museum at UCLA, accession no. X73.519.
Alfred Louis Kroeber, The Uhle Pottery Collections from Chancay Peru (Berkeley, 1926).
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