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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Moche Portrait Head Vessels : Moche Blackware Portrait Head Vessel
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Moche Blackware Portrait Head Vessel - PF.1873
Origin: Northern Coast of Peru
Circa: 200 AD to 600 AD
Dimensions: 10.25" (26.0cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The portrait vessels of the Moche, allow us an intimate glimpse of the Ancient Peruvian aristocracy. Originally modeled from life, these vessels were pressed in molds, sometimes over a period of decades. When a person of importance died, other dignitaries placed their portraits in his grave as a mark of honor. This stunning blackware example shows a man with distinctive jutting jaw and large ears, whose features seem to be thickening slightly with age. Who was he? A king? A priest? a famous warrior? Though we know little about him, we understand instinctively his high place in society, and treat him with all due honor. - (PF.1873)


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