Bridge-Spout Bottle in Form of a Feline
Unknown Paracas artist, Ica valley, south coast, Peru. Bridge-Spout Bottle in Form of a Feline, 400–100 BCE. Ceramic with post-fired resin paint, 5 ¾ x 7 ½ x 3 inches. Denver Art Museum Collection: Funds from Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Mulryan Gift and Anonymous Acquisitions Challenge Grant, 1985.313.
About 400–100 B.C.
Peru, Ica Valley
Earthenware with post-fired resin paints
Funds from Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Mulryan, 1985.313
The Paracas culture of Peru’s south coast occupied a region that extended from the Chincha Valley to the Acarí Valley from about 800-100 BC. Ceramic bottles with one or two tapering spouts and a gently curved handle were made throughout the region. Ica Valley artisans specialized in bottles, bowls, and other ceramic forms decorated with incised designs and colored resin paints. In this example, incision was used to delineate the feline’s facial features, including a wide, snarling mouth, whiskers, eyes and ears. Circles, chevrons, bands, and an abstract profile bird’s head decorate the body, suggesting a patterned pelt. Originally, colored resin paints gave the surface a glossy, mosaic-like surface. But over the centuries these paints have been lost, leaving only faint residues of color.
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