Results 1 516
440 Previous Next

Stirrup Vessel with Incised Designs
Additional Views Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Stirrup Vessel with Incised Designs


Description Provenance Credit
Description This “stirrup-spout” vessel has been highly polished and incised with face of a supernatural creature shown in profile. It seems to combine elements of some of ancient Peru’s fiercest predators, with an eye (at top) which is hooded like that of a crocodile, but the prominent fangs of a feline, probably a jaguar. Cupisnique ceramics frequently show jaguars and felines, which were symbols of power associated with rulers. The “stirrup spout” was one of the most common vessel forms in pre-Columbian Peru and the Andean area. A short spout at the top is attached to two tubes which join with the vessel itself. The form is reminiscent of a stirrup for horseback riding, hence the name. The resulting container was beautiful and versatile, since the main vessel could be shaped into many different forms, with a surface that was either carefully polished or highly textured. These vessels were also practical: in the extremely dry deserts of Peru, such a narrow opening prevented evaporation of the liquid held within. The complex shape of the neck also meant that it was easy to carry: two such vessels could be tied to the ends of a cord, to be slung over a person’s shoulder or a llama’s back. Large numbers of vessels like these have been found in burials of elites on the north Coast of Peru beginning about 1800 BCE.
Provenance [Dr. Ernest Lira, Houston and Denver (?), or Dr. Peter Almendariz, Denver (?), or M. Brenner, Geneva (?)]; Paul Shepard, Tucson, Arizona [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Economos Works of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Private collection, 1988, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2009, by gift.
Credit Anonymous gift, 2009

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

Creator
Period
1200-500 BCE (Early Horizon-Early Intermediate)
Medium
earthenware
(Ceramics)
Accession Number
48.2823
Measurements
H: 8 1/4 x W: 6 1/4 in. (20.96 x 15.88 cm)
Geographies
  • Peru (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

Tags


    Thumbnail: Stirrup Vessel with Incised Designs Thumbnail: Stirrup Vessel with Incised Designs
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Stirrup Vessel with Incised Designs