Apolonia Ancient Art offers ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian works of art Apolonia Ancient Art
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1054243
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,365.00
This interesting Moche vessel is in the form of a skeletal head, and it dates circa 200-500 A.D. This piece is approximately 6 inches high, and is intact with no repair/restoration. This piece is mold made from a light brown terracotta, and there are spotty dark black and brown dotted deposits. This piece has a great deal of eye appeal, as the eyes and mouth are framed with shrunken skin not unlike a death skull. There is some academics that think this type of Moche portraiture displays an ancestor from the underworld, or it may portray a sacrifical victim that is seen with his skin ceremoniously flayed back away from the face. Whatever the case may be, there are many Moche vessels that portray a skeletal figurine, and there is likely a spiritual and/or underworld connection to this genre of Moche art. This piece has a flat bottom and is also designed with an upward tilt, in order that the face looks upward at the viewer. This piece is truly a powerful Moche image, and may also represent a "transformation" piece that may be a bridge between the living and the underworld. Ex: Andrea Sarmiento collection, Miami, FL. Ex: Erika Roman estate, Santa Cruz, CA. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1178207
Apolonia Ancient Art
$2,865.00
This piece is a Moche ceramic stirrup-jar that dates circa 450-600 A.D., Moche IV-V periods. This interesting piece is approximately 9.75 inches high, and is intact with no repair/restoration. This piece has some minute black spotty mineral deposits, and has some light brown burnishing. This piece has light orange/red highlights over a cream colored background, and is a very detailed Moche fineline ceramic. This lively piece shows two detailed and animated "Strombus Monsters", which are seen facing right and are seen on each side of the vessel. These composite creatures are seen wearing a conch shell, from which they are seen emerging, and they display a lively open mouthed pose. These creatures have a striped pelage, a tapering tail, a long-spined main that runs down the length of it's back, and four legs with claws. There are also three eyes that extend from the front of the head. According to Christopher Donnan in "Moche Art of Peru", University of California, Los Angeles, CA., 1978, p.63: "On the snout of the monster are antenna-like objects clearly derived from the land snail. There is a likely explanation for the combination of features on this animal. Since conch shells (Strombus galeatus) were imported from Ecuador, the Moche people probably never saw the creature living inside. They may, however, have made an analogy between the creature they thought inhabited the conch shell and the land snail, which is native to the north coast of Peru." There is an analogous comparable to this vessel that is seen in Sotheby's New York, Arts of Africa, Oceania & the Americas, May 2003, no. 207. ($4,000.00-$6,000.00 estimates.) Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, circa 1978-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL document from Gutachten Lab., no. 7579125, dated 11/19/1979.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1245720
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,265.00
This striking piece is a carved stone sculpture that is attributed to the Recuay culture, Early Intermediate Period, circa 400 B.C.-300 A.D. This piece is a solid stone piece that is approximately 4.5 inches long, by 3.4 inches wide, by 2.8 inches high. This piece is a dark brown color, and has minute dark black and spotty white mineral deposits. In addition, there are faint traces of red cinnabar deposits that are seen in the low relief areas of the rounded eyes and incised teeth. This piece is an excellent example of Recuay stone sculpture, as it has sharp angular or circular lines, and flat surfaces. The Recuay culture was a highland contemporary of the Moche, and was organized into small independent militaristic polities, and their art often depicted creatures that seen to be supernatural in character. The head seen here is a supernatural feline with ears seen at the top, and a wide mouth with prominent angular designed teeth. The circular eyes, open mouth filled with teeth, and angular flat nose seen at the front, identify this creature which is often referred to as the "moon animal", because of it's association with crescents and other celestial imagery in the coeval Moche style. The so-called "moon animal", a feline or foxlike creature with a triangular form of nose projecting from its face, plays a principle role in Recuay art and is common on fine Recuay pottery. (For an analogous piece and an explanation of the "moon animal", see the "Spirit of Ancient Peru; Treasures from the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrara", Thames and Hudson Pub., New York, 1977, no. 24, p. 93. See attached photo.) This piece offered here also reflects the Recuay monolithic stone sculpture that was free-standing or incorporated into masonry walls, and was carved so that its undecorated shaftlike back could be inserted into a wall socket while the carved supernatural visage projected out of the wall in tenonlike fashion. This type of artistic design allowed the viewer to see a piece that "comes alive" in a simplistic fashion, and as such, this piece has a high degree of eye appeal. This splendid stone piece is mounted on a custom wooden and Plexiglas stand, and is angled upwards for the viewer. Ex: Splendors of the World Gallery, Los Angeles, CA., circa 1990's. Ex: Private New York collection. Ex: Private German collection. Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1250013
Apolonia Ancient Art
$6,875.00
This extremely rare and cute piece is a Moche blackware feline that dates Moche I Period, circa 300-100 B.C. This early Moche piece is approximately 8.25 inches long by 7.2 inches high. This black glossy glazed piece is intact, and has some attractive light brown burnishing and some minute spotty black mineral deposits. This cute piece is a reclined feline that is seen with his long-tailed prey in his mouth, and this prey appears to be a small mammal and/or mouse. This feline's powerful bared teeth are seen holding it's prey securely in place, and this feline also appears to be relaxed, as he is seen reclined with his lower torso to one side along with his wavy tail. This feline is also seen with forward-curving ears, graceful incised whiskers, rectangular nose, and a compact body. There is also a stirrup-spout at the top of the body, and male attributes are seen between the hind legs. This type of Moche ceramic normally does not have prey in his mouth, and as such, is an extremely rare type. Another analogous blackware reclined feline piece, without the prey, is seen in Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, New York, Dec. 1981, no. 14. (See attached photo. $1,200.00-$1,800.00 estimates, $1,210.00 realized.) The feline offered here may be a rare black jaguar, or a smaller feline such as a puma. Wild felines held a special place in the mythology of the ancient Americas. The felines special night vision combined with their powers as hunters were often likened to the power of shamans who would incorporate feline elements into their costumes or paraphernalia. The piece seen here also has enlarged eyes, which emphasize this creature's excellent night vision, and the face of this feline has anthropomorphic characteristics. This type of piece is extremely rare, as it is a type that has the caught prey, is in superb condition, and has great eye appeal. Ex: Gayle Grayson Gallery, Chicago, Ill., circa 1980's. Ex: Estate of Daniel J. and Ruth Edelman, Chicago, Ill. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1161912
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,875.00
This superb piece is an Aztec red and black goblet that dates circa 1400-1525 A.D. This attractive piece is approximately 7.25 inches high, and has a two tone thick polychrome glossy glaze. This piece stands on a high red foot, and has an inverted bell shaped cup that has a wide black band. Another red band is seen below the upper lip and extends down inside the cup from the rim about .5 inches. This vibrant colored polychrome glaze, seen around the rim and extending down inside the cup, allowed one to drink from a smooth surface and is another indication that this piece was made for an important individual. This piece has vibrant colors, and has scattered minute black mineral deposits. This intact piece is in superb condition, has no repair and/or over paint, and has an exceptional thick glossy polychrome. The Aztec red and black polychrome ceramics are all rare to scarce, and are all finely made pieces with vibrant colors. These red and black ceramics obviously appealed to the Aztec sense of artistic taste and style. On the bottom rim, there is a painted number, 8928, which is from the Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Ex: San Diego, CA. estate collection, circa 1950's-1960's. Ex: Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. (Inventory #8928.), circa 1970's. Ex: Private New York collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #812519
Apolonia Ancient Art
$6,875.00
This dramatic "power" type piece dates circa 200-500 A.D., and is from the Peten region of the Yucatan Peninsula, which is Guatemala/southern Mexico. This exceptional piece is a Mayan green stone mask that likely was a pectoral that served as the central element in a ceremonial necklace. This piece is approximately 3.5 inches wide by 4.8 inches high, is a complete example with no repair and/or breaks, and is in superb condition save for some minor roughness at the back top. This green stone mask may be fuchsite or a diopside, as there are attractive (mica?) speckled silver inclusions that are readily seen within the stone. There are also light brown mineral deposits seen on sections of the outer surface, and dark brown mineral deposits seen in most of the lower relief sections of this piece. The Maya highly valued this type of green stone, and there are few authentic ancient Mayan green stone objects carved made from this material, and as such, this piece is rare to extremely rare . This piece was valued highly enough in that it was placed as the central component in a ceremonial necklace, and there is a bow drilled hole on each side of this mask that held it in place within the necklace. In addition, the eyes and mouth were formed into the stone by a "pecking" technique, and the back side of this piece has a concave surface. (For an anlogous designed necklace made from a similiar type green stone see "Maya" by Peter Schmidt, Ed., Rizzoli Pub., Venice, Italy, 1998, no. 140. This piece is also seen in the Museo National de Antropologia in Mexico City, Inv. no. 10-000220.) Carved green stone objects, such as the extremely rare piece offered here, were highly valued by the Maya and reinforced the high rank of individuals wearing them. In the Classic period, green stone objects and beads made for the Mayan elite actually achieved the status of "money", such was the importance and acceptance of these objects. One principle reason for this was that these green stones are the same color as sprouting maize, which represented life on earth and eternal life in the spirit world. Sacred Mayan green stone objects were passed down from generation to generation, placed in sacrificial caches, and used as grave offerings. The pectoral mask offered here is also interesting in that the design of the face resembles the Mayan hieroglyph "ahau", meaning "lord", as it is written in its simplest form. There are also many forms of this common Mayan "lord" glyph, and this "lord" glyph evolved over time, but the form of the piece offered here is closest to the simple "lord" glyph seen during the Classical period, which is also the period that this piece was produced. Both the simple "lord" glyph and the piece offered here have rounded eyes and mouth, thick lips that run around the mouth opening, and two vertical lines that run from the upper lip to the forehead that form the design of the nose and the face of the glyph. (For this theory and a chart of line drawings relative to the evolution of the "Ahau" glyph see "The Stylistic History of the Mayan Hieroglyphs", by Dr. Hermann Beyer, Tulane University Pub., New Orleans, 1932.) The fact that this mask resembles the Mayan simple "lord" glyph is not surprising, as it was probably an important Mayan lord that wore this piece in ceremony and perhaps even in death, and as such, this piece can be considered an important "power" type object. This piece is mounted on a custom metal base and can easily be removed. This piece has also been authenticated by examined in great deatil by Mr. Robert Sonin and Mr. David Joralemon in New York. Ex: Martin Falk collection, Long Island, New York (acquired circa 1960's.). Ex: Arte Primitivo, Fine Pre-Columbian Auction, New York, Auction 46, no.125. Ex: Private French collection. (Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1239297
Apolonia Ancient Art
$4,675.00
This extremely rare piece is a Chavin "stirrup handle" ceramic that dates to the Early Horizon period, circa 700-400 B.C. This piece is approximately 8.5 inches high by 7 inches long. This interesting piece is a standing animal, which represents a Coatimundi, or possibly a fox, as the lively head of this standing animal has an elongated nose and peaked ears. This piece is intact, has no repair/restoration, and is an orange and light red color. This esoteric piece is in overall superb condition, has some spotty black dotted mineral deposits, and some normal stirrup handle surface roughness. This piece has four large circle designs, and some geometric line design seen on each side, at the front, and on the face of this animated creature. The rectangular shaped head has dotted eyes, and is seen slightly tilted to the right, which give this piece a high degree of eye appeal and a very animated look. The mouth also appears to be slightly turned as well, and this movement noted with the head and mouth may represent this piece as a "transformation type" vessel. This type of artistic style, as noted above, is also attributed to the Chavin type ceramics known as "Tembladera style". This remarkable piece was produced at a very early period, regarding Pre-Columbian Andean cultures, and has a rare design with the esoteric curved hind quarter of the piece. This type of esoteric design is also rare regarding Chavin type ceramics, and is seldom seen on the market. A piece with analogous artistic style was offered in Bonham's Pre-Columbian Art, San Francisco, CA., Dec. 2006, no. 5352. (This stirrup vessel type piece has analogous line design, color, and nose design, and depicts a humanoid figure.) Another analogous stirrup type ceramic vessel was offered in Christie's Pre-Columbian Art, New York, Nov. 2006, no. 41. (This vessel depicts a jaguar with a slightly tilted head, peaked ears, and dotted eyes. The head is also a triangular designed head with an elongated snout, and this head is also turned to the right. This piece is classified as "Tembladera", circa 700-400 B.C. $4,000.00-$6,000.00 estimates, $4,800.00 realized. See attached photo.) The piece offered here is an esoteric design that is seldom seen on the market, and it is extremely rare in it's intact condition. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Dr. Ernst J. Fischer collection, circa 1980's. Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1177558
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,275.00
This interesting Moche ceramic dates circa 300-500 A.D., Moche III-IV periods. This superb piece is approximately 9.25 inches high, and is in intact condition with vibrant colors. This piece has some attractive light brown burnishing on the vessel, and has reddish-brown painted highlights over a cream background. This piece has a conical projection from the top of the vessel, and an attached red stirrup handle is seen on the side. This conical projection may represent a Moche ceremonial club, as it is very analogous in shape to the terminal end of a wooden ceremonial sacrificial club that was found in Tomb 1, Platform II, Huaca de la Luna, Peru. (See "Moche Art and Archaeology in Ancient Peru", National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Yale University Press, 2001, pp.96-97, fig.10. Immunological analysis of this wooden club indicated that it had been repeatedly drenched in human blood, and this club could have been used to ceremoniously break crania or other bones of victims. See attached photo. Another Moche stirrup-jar vessel with an analogous conical projection of this type is seen in "Moche Art of Peru" by Christopher Donnan, University of California, Los Angeles, 1978, pp.46-47, fig.65-66. This particuliar fineline vessel has a procession of warriors seen with war clubs, helmets, and small shields.) The piece offered here has a frieze of four red floral/reed groups, which are evenly spaced in the cream colored field that is seen around the main body of the vessel, and there is an avian above each. There is a red "center bar" symbol that divides this frieze into two parts, and in addition, there are two floral symbols seen on each side of the vessel on the upper shoulder. According to Donnan in the reference noted above on p.33: "In two-dimensional representation, plants are consistently shown in profile, with one notable exception: the blossoms on a flowering plant which often occurs in fresh water scenes are shown from above. (fig. 58)". The red "center bar" symbol noted above, was also a Moche convention of art to not only divide the frieze into two parts, but also to give the viewer a two-dimensional plane which offers the viewer of this frieze a view from above, along with a profile view as well. This "duality of portraiture" is seldom seen in Pre-Columbian art, and as such, this piece is a rare example of Moche fineline ceramics. In addition, the red "center bar" symbol also likely represents a "tie symbol", which simply is a rope and/or cloth that is seen tied around the neck of the vessel. According to Elizabeth Benson in "Death-Associated figures on Mochica Pottery", published in "Death and the Afterlife in Pre-Columbian Art", Washington D.C., 1973, p. 108: "The tie seems to be symbolic of offering or sacrifice; I believe that tying is an integral part of the funerary ritual, and that the jar with the rope around the neck is the purest funerary symbol. The tied jar is perhaps in some way equivalent to the prisoner figure or the sacrificial limb or head". This "tie symbol", along with the raised conical projection which may represent a ceremonial sacrifical club, are both symbols that point to the fact that this vessel was also likely a "ceremonial offering vessel" that was associated with the ritual of "offering and sacrifice". Ex: Sotheby's New York, Antiquities, Tribal, Pre-Columbian and Later Works of Art, June 1981, no. 41. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, circa 1981-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL test document from Gutachten Lab., no.481811, dated June 11th, 1983.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1208597
Apolonia Ancient Art
$7,865.00
This scarce piece is a Mayan brownware tripod vessel, "Teotihuacan Type", that dates circa 250-450 A.D. This Mayan piece is classified as having "Teotihuacan" artistic style, and is of the type seen in "Pre-Columbian Art, The Morton D. May and The Saint Lewis Art Museum Collections" by L.A. Parsons, New York, 1980, Fig. 133. This superb piece is approximately 8.3 inches high by 12.4 inches in diameter, and is complete with some limited crack fill/repair. This piece also has some traces of red cinnabar in the low relief molded sections of the vessel, and some minute spotty black mineral deposits. There is a black polychrome band seen below the rim, and there are raised coffee bean symbols that are seen running around the vessel at the base of the bowl. This attractive brownware piece is supported by three hollow slab feet that show an identical trophy/death head molded design, and the bowl has a molded frieze that runs around the piece. This molded frieze is divided into three sections by incised bands, and each section has an identical impressed molded design that was repeated three times. This impressed molded design shows a Mayan ballplayer on one knee, and he is wearing a yoke around his waist, along with a helmet/headdress and other regalia. There also appears to be a speech-scroll seen running away from this figure as well. He is seen bouncing a large ball off his hip/yoke, and this large ball also appears to be depicted at the moment of impact. This figure may represent the Mayan Hero Twin "Xbalanque", who was the great mythic ballplayer in the Mayan "Popol Vuh". In addition, this impressed molded design shows a standing individual/ballplayer that is seen facing the ballplayer that is seen on one knee, and this standing individual/ballplayer has a skull-like old man facial design, and likely represents one of the Mayan Death Gods of Xibalba, which is the Mayan underworld. This standing Death God is seen holding a hanging object, and this may be a handstone, "manopla", which was used in the ballgame perhaps during the serve, or it may represent a squash, which represents a severed head of the other Hero Twin, "Hunahpu". This standing Death God may represent "God L", who was also one of the principle gods of the underworld, and was known as "Lord of the Underworld". The number three is also significant regarding the Mayan ballgame, as the Maya were thought to have played the game with three principle players on each side. It is interesting to note that this piece has three legs that each depict a trophy/death head, along with the three sections of the molded frieze which each have the three identical molded impressions as noted above. There is a total of nine molded impressions, three per section, seen within the molded frieze that runs around this piece, and the number nine is associated with the Hero Twins. (See "The Sport of Life and Death: The Mesoamerican Ballgame", M. Whittington Ed., Thames and Hudson, New York, 2001, p.239, which also shows a scene which is very analogous to the scene seen on the piece offered here, and that is the Hero Twin "Xbalanque" on one knee hitting the ball with his yoke, and the standing "God L". See attached photo.) According to Linda Schele in "The Code of Kings", New York, 1998, p. 213: "Both sets of Twins (Hero Twins) confronted the Lords of Death in the ballgame, which was a symbolic form of warfare. The Hero Twins used the dance to defeat Death, and it was in the ballcourt that they resurrected their dead forebears. It was also in the ballcourt that the Maize Gods stayed after the successful Fourth Creation and the engendering of humanity. It is there that human beings must go to worship the Maize Gods." This piece was also likely ceremonial in nature, given the Mayan ballgame symbols, and may have held an offering such as a severed head, possibly from a ballplayer. The Mayan death head symbol seen on the legs of the vessel also support this theory, along with the fact that this type of piece is known as a votive offering vessel. The noted Mayan epigraphist, Dr. Mark Van Stone, has confirmed that the three legs seen on this vessel have: "a head on the leg that represents a generic trophy head" and, "his eye is closed, which suggests a captive decapitation, and his jaw is hidden by a scroll, a little like the head-variant of (Te)". This exceptional piece is scarce to rare, as most Mayan vessels of this type portray warriors and/or battle scenes, rather than a scene from the Mayan ballcourt. Another analogous vessel of this type that portrays a molded priest/warrior in flight is seen in Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, New York, Nov. 1991, no. 155. ($8,000.00-$10,000.00 estimates.) Ex: Private New York collection, circa 1990's. Ex: Donick Cary collection, Los Angeles, CA. Ex:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1044364
Apolonia Ancient Art
$2,875.00
This visually appealing piece is a large Mayan cylinder vessel that dates circa 400-600 A.D. This piece is approximately 8.5 inches high by 6.9 inches in diameter, is intact with no repair and/or restoration, and sits on four legs that are attached to the bottom base. This piece is a bright orange and black-line polychrome ceramic, which has a "square-cubed" geometric pattern that runs around the entire outer surface. This pattern is likely an imitation of a basket weave pattern, or possibly a textile pattern. Mayan artists also relished imitation of one material with another, particularly in painted media that we read as "trompe l' oeil", in which the eye is tricked, and in the case of the piece offered here, the surface was painted in such a way as to make the observer see woven basketry. In addition, and according to Herbert J. Spinden in "A Study of Mayan Art, Its Subject Matter & Historical Development", Dover Pub., New York, 1975, page 147: "Simple basket weavings appear as painted ornamentation on potsherds from the Uloa Valley (Fig. 204). Complicated braided patterns are common as the rim decoration on pottery from this region, and may have had their origin in the imitation of wicker-work basketry. It is probable that basketry was not of much importance as an art among the Maya, owing to the high development of ceramics." This piece has some heavy spotty black manganese deposits and root marking, which is mainly seen on the bottom and at the bottom edge of the vessel. This piece has some minor minute glaze loss, but overall, it is in extremely fine condition. This piece is also from the Salvador/Honduran region, as the orange and black colors are common for the region, but the type of geometric "square-cubed" pattern that is seen running around the entire vessel is not common, and is a scarce design. This large piece is interesting, has a high degree of eye appeal, and is scarce in this condition with its vibrant color. Ex: C.W. Slagle collection, Scottsdale, AZ., circa 1980's. Ex: Private FL. collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1249675
Apolonia Ancient Art
$4,675.00
This extremely rare piece is a Moche seated man that is Moche IV Period, circa 450-550 A.D., and is approximately 8.3 inches high. This interesting piece is intact, save for a filled stress crack in the upper stirrup-handle, and is in superb condition with vibrant dark red, light brown, and cream colors. This piece is a seated Moche man who is dressed with regal ear flares, a wrapped headdress, a dark red back sack, and a cream colored tunic. The individual portrayed here does appear to have some social status in a regal or religious context, as he is seen finely dressed, and he is also seen holding a ceramic in each hand which may point to a ceremonial activity. This individual displays a pronounced facial deformity, which was also held in high regard by the Moche, as this was thought to be a sign from the gods. Special status and sacredness may have been accorded to those who suffered diseases and other physical handicaps. The pronounced deformed face of this individual has skin drawn tight over the bones, and is likely the result of a tropical disease. The Moche were known for their realistic ceramic portraiture, and the piece offered here is a prime example of their skill for realism in portraiture. Moche ceramics that are medical related, and depict individuals with diseases and/or deformities such as this piece, are rare to extremely rare. Another analogous example that portrays a deformed face is seen in "The Spirit of Ancient Peru: Treasures from the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrara", Thames and Hudson Pub., by Kathlenn Berrin, San Francisco, 1997, no. 69. (See attached photo. This portrait-head type vessel seen in the Larco Herrara Museum may also be a portrait of the same individual as seen on the ceramic offered here. Both pieces have analogous features and are both Moche IV Period.) The individual seen here with the deformed face and diminutive nose was likely caused by a tropical disease known as Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis (ML), and this disease is found today in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru. ML is contracted from a sand fly bite, and subsequently, ML symtoms include painful nodules inside the nose, perforation of the nasel septum, and enlargement of the nose and lips. Untreated, the disease leads to ulcerated lesions and scarring and tissue destruction predominately in the face and extremities which can be disfiguring. (See MedicineNet.com for more information regarding this disease.) The piece seen here likely displays the disease noted above, rather than a battle injury, or a ritualistic mutilation, but whatever the case, this interesting piece is an extremely rare Moche vessel that is seldom seen on the market. Ex: Gayle Grayson Gallery, Chicago, Ill., circa 1980's. Ex: Estate of Daniel J. and Ruth Edelman, Chicago, Ill. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1224537
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,875.00
This cute little piece is a pendant from the Zapotec culture that dates circa 200 B.C.-200 A.D. (Monte Alban II period). This piece has earlier Mezcala artistic influence, and a myriad of small monkey/squirrel pendants of this type were produced as early as 300 B.C. in western Mexico by the Mezcala culture. This complete piece is approximately 1.9 inches high by 2 inches long, and stands upright on its own, which also points to the skill of the artist, as most of these examples do not stand on their own. This piece is carved from an attractive green serpentine (green diorite) which has several light brown and white inclusions, and some minute stress cracks within the stone. This piece has Zapotec artistic style as seen with the extended thin lips, Roman style nose, and incised line work on the upper head. This piece is also a "transformation" type piece, as the seated monkey has humanoid anthropomorphic facial features. This piece also has a small bow-drilled suspension hole seen between the back and raised tail, and this piece likely served as a "protector" type pendant. This piece has bow-drilled eyes, and were likely inlaid with a colored stone. There are heavy white calcite and black mineral deposits seen within the two eyes, and the small suspension hole. In addition, there is some dark brown mineralization seen deep within some of the minute stress cracks of the stone. There is also a light brown patina seen on the outer surface, and some traces of red cinnabar seen on the low relief areas of the piece. A lively piece with a great deal of eye appeal with an exceptional patina, and is a scarce type. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser. This piece also sits on a custom black/Plexiglas stand. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #594176
Apolonia Ancient Art
$2,875.00
This Chavin/Cupisnique water carrier is an early type Chavin ceramic and dates circa 900-600 B.C. This piece is intact and is in mint condition with no stress cracks and/or breaks. This large piece is approximately 12.1 inches high, and has a cream and light red polychrome glaze. There is some light brown burnishing seen mostly on the bottom, and there is also a very small drill hole that is seen that was done for a thermoluminescence test (TL test). This TL test was done by the prior private collector in Germany, and it was done by Kotalla Laboratory. This document is included with this piece.(The results of this test place this piece circa 600-400 B.C.) This cute piece has a friendly warm smile and projects an easy going carefree feeling. The design of the face is very simple, and comic-like, but this was probably the intent of the potter/artist. This type of piece is rare for an Andean ceramic, as most Andean cultures such as the Chavin and the Moche were based on a warrior cult that used live captives for sacrifice. The Chavin/Cupisnique produced some of the first and finest ceramics in ancient Peru, and the stirrup-spout seen on this vessel was their invention. This allowed the Chavin/Cupisnique potters to move this piece around in the kiln with a stick, and they were able to produce pieces that had bright colors with even glazes such as this piece. This water carrier may be a representation of a person, but more likely, it is an anthropomorphic form represented as being from the spirit world. There is also a face seen at the front of the main body of the vessel that may double as a clothing design. This piece may also be from the "Cupisnique" culture as noted by Richard Berger in "Chavin and the Origins of Andean Civilization", page 90-99. He notes that this type of ceramic, with it's trapezoidal arch and single spout with the flaring end, are creations of the initial phase prior to the appearance of what we know as true Chavin style ceramics. The TL test seems to support this view. Most early pieces of this type have simple line design details for the eyes, nose, and other facial features/body design as this piece shows. This Chavin/Cupisnique piece is a rare, early type and is a large example. Ex: Private German collection. Ex; Private CA. collection. (Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1107318
Apolonia Ancient Art
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This rare Mayan ceramic is a small bottle known as a "poison bottle". This piece dates circa 600-900 A.D., and is approximately 3.9 inches high by 1.75 inches wide. This exceptional piece is larger than most examples, and is intact, with no repair and/or restoration. This piece was used by the Maya as a container that was used to contain precious contents such as red cinnabar, which was the most common product that this type of vessel contained. Red cinnabar was widely traded in the ancient Mayan world, and was used in religious Mayan ceremonies, tombs, ceramics, and jewelry. Red cinnabar is a known preservative of organic matter, which made red cinnabar sacred to the Maya due to it's preservation properties, and this was important relative to the Mayan concept of eternal life. Red cinnaber is extremely toxic in concentrated quantities, as it is mercury based (HgS), and this is why this type of vessel is known as a "poison bottle". This piece also has no noticable traces of red cinnabar on the inside surfaces. This superb vessel has a mold pressed scene of the Mayan gods K and L facing one another, and each rounded side of this vessel has a mold pressed double-banded Mayan glyph band. The double-banded Mayan glyph bands, seen on each rounded side of this vessel, are identical, as they were mold pressed from the same molds. The mold pressed scene of both Mayan gods, seen on both flat Sides A and B, is identical as well. Side A is slightly more clearer than Side B, as the same mold was used to press each side; and this mold filled with some loose material from pressing Side A, which subsequently produced an image on Side B that was not as sharp. This is the case with most of these Mayan molded bottles, and this slight loss of detail is also an excellent mark of authenticity. God K, seen standing to the left facing God L, has a snake foot seen behind, and a smoking scroll that is seen emerging from his forehead. God K is a major Mayan deity, who personified royal power and was a protector of royal lineages. God L, seen standing on the right facing God K, has a wide-brimmed hat with a Moan bird, and a jaguar-hide cloak with indented spots. God L is also one of the principle Mayan gods that presided over the underworld. This scene with both "standing gods" is rare, compared to the numerous examples of "poison bottles" of this type that show both gods seated. In addition, the piece offered here has a "world tree" design between both figures, in contrast to the "seated gods" type, which has a "glyph band" between both figures. (See attached photo showing an example of the "seated gods" type. The "seated gods" example seen here is a drawing of a "poison bottle" that is seen in "The Smoking Gods", by Francis Robicsek, University of Oklahoma Press, 1972, p.187, Figure 210.) The "standing gods" type offered here, also shows God K without an extended nose and smoke scrolls, but rather shows his face as a mortal as is portrayed in Mayan art. This may indicate that the standing individual portrayed on this vessel, may in fact portray a royal personage as God K, and this may also explain the "world tree" that is seen between both individuals. It is thought that the royal kings of Palenque, in additional to other Mayan cities, tied themselves to the gods as much as possible, and in the case of Palenque this is especially true regarding God K. According to Robicsek (See the reference noted above pp. 74-75): "As has been mentioned, the possibility that these personages represent God K in human guise cannot be completely excluded because the Mayan gods were polymorphous-able not only to assume the aspects of the animals or plants they represented but also to metamorphosize into human forms. When, however, we consider the very important written historical data on these monuments, it is more probable that they represented rulers who accorded themselves these divine features and claimed to be either the deity himself or his descendants." This intact piece also has several minute dark black deposits, some faint red cinnabar deposits down in the low relief sections, and there is some attractive dark brown kiln burnishing seen on the upper opening, Side B, and on the bottom surfaces. This burnishing was primarily a result from not enough heat/oxygen in the kiln when the piece was fired, and kiln burnishing is very common relative to Mayan light brown/tan ceramics of this type. This piece is a rare type, as it is a very large example, and is a "standing gods" type that is seldom seen on the market. In addition, this piece has a double-banded "glyph band" on each side, and usually, one sees the single "glyph band" on each side, or no "glyph band" at all. Ex: Lands Beyond Gallery, New York. (Circa 1980's, inventory no. D
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #853880
Apolonia Ancient Art
$4,675.00
This rare vessel is from the Moche culture, that dwelled in modern day northern Peru, dates circa 500-700 A.D. and is from the Moche IV phase of ceramic development. This piece is intact with no repair/restoration, is in superb condition, and is approximately 8.25 inches high. This red-brown and cream colored ceramic is a rare piece, as it is a type of vessel known as a "sacrificial rite vessel". This piece has six figures on the vessel including a Moche standing owl deity seen at the center, a sea lion, a cormorant, a hooded male figure, an ocean skate(?), and a crab. All of the five figures that run around the main body of this stirrup-type vessel are all seen emerging from the background, and may represent their emerging into or from the spirit world. These figures are seen in high relief from the main body of the vessel, as they were individually mold made, and this production process took a great deal of skill and time relative to intregrating these images into the production of this ceramic. The standing owl deity seen at the center, which may also represent a priest in costume, is also the Moche deity that is seen in the "Presentation Theme", which is a Moche ceremony of sacrifice as defined by Christopher Donnan. (See "Moche Art of Peru" by Christopher Donnan, University of California, Los Angeles, CA., 1978, pp.158-174.) This Moche owl deity, seen in the "Presentation Theme" as defined by Donnan which is also identified as "Figure B", is a priest seen in an owl-hooded costume holding a goblet with blood from the sacrifice. There are also other known Moche ceramic vessels that portray this figure, as seen in the work noted above (Nos. 248 and 271.). The owl was sacred to the Moche because of it's night vision and sharp hunting skills at night, and because of their nocturnal nature, they were associated with death and were thought to travel between the living and spirit world. There are examples of Moche ceramics with a captive tied to the back of the owl, and this may represent the owl carrying the captive to the other world. The standing owl, seen in combination with the five figures that run around the main body of this vessel, are all related to Moche ceremony and sacrifice. The active red-brown sea lion depicted on this piece shows several round objects, seen at the front of the eye and on the stomach area, and are round stones that the sea lions frequently cough up when they are hunted. These stones were considered sacred by the Moche and were thought to have extremely powerful medicinal properties. The lively artistic style of the sea lion is exceptional, and has a great deal of expression. The hooded male figure, seen at the front of the vessel, may represent a sacrificial victim. It is interesting to note that one of the owl's feet appear to grip and morph into the hood that is seen on the male figure that is placed just below the body of the owl. The crab is also interesting in that the crab has anthropomorphized human-like eyes. The owl is also thought to represent the "magical flight" ecstatic trance state that was performed by Moche shamans and priests. The owl seen on this vessel also has a human designed eye, and may represent a shaman and/or priest in costume, or is in a state of transformation. (This ecstatic trance state was first described in 1638 by Antonio de la Calancha, in the historical Spanish document "Cornica Moralizada del Orden de San Augustin en el Peru, Con Sucesos Egemplares an esta Monarquia", Barcelona, Spain.) The ceramic offered here may represent the owl as presiding over the Moche sacrifices that are offered to the other world, due to the many attributes of the Moche owl deity as noted above, and as such is known as a "sacrificial rite vessel". (One of the few examples of this type of vessel was offered by Arte Primitivo, New York, June 2005, no. 329, $12,000.00-$15,000.00 estimates. The vessel offered by Arte Primitivo is also red-brown and cream colored, 10.5 inches high, and is Moche IV phase. See attached photo.) Ex: S. Benger collection, Germany, circa 1970's. Ex: G. Hirsch Nachfolger, Pre-Columbian Art Auction 257, Sept. 2008, no. 179. Ex: Private New York collection. (Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Metalwork : Pre AD 1000 item #1113765
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,275.00
This rare piece is a silver Inka Empire atlatl thumb grip, which is an important component of a wooden atlatl. This piece dates circa 1450-1550 A.D., and is approximately 1.1 inches wide by 1.5 inches high. This x-rare to rare piece was cast in silver, and was then hammered into its present form. This piece has a bar at the bottom that was imbedded into a round wooden rod, and then was tied into place. This round wooden rod, known as an atlatl, had a slot that ran down the center which held a spear. (See attached photo of an atlatl which is seen in the Museo de Oro, Lima. Approximately 20.5 inches long.) The atlatl was a weapon that was an important addition to the Royal Inka army, as it enabled the thrower of the spear to more than double the throwing distance of the spear. The atlatl placed additional torque to the back end of the spear, and the thump grip enabled the holder of the atlatl to transfer more power into the act of the throwing the spear. The thumb was the last contact point on the atlantl on the hand of the thrower, and the addition of the thumb grip enhanced the power of the atlantl a great deal. This weapon was one of the principle reasons that enabled the Inka Empire to expand as rapidly as it did, and as this piece is made from silver, this piece was likely made for the Inka Imperial Army. Most of these thumb grips are simple wooden pegs, or are sometimes found in bronze. (For some additional bronze examples see: "Peru Durch de Jahrtausende, Kunst Und Kultur Im Lande Der Inka", by Ferdinand Anders, Verlag Aurel Bongers Pub., 1984, nos. 12.60-12.62. See attached photo.) The piece offered here has a face that has a feathered crest at the top, and the upper portion of this piece is slightly turned to one side to accommodate the thumb of a right-handed thrower. This piece is a complete example and has no repair/restoration. This piece also has a nice dark gray patina, has a great deal of eye appeal, and was authenticated by Mr. Robert Sonin, New York. A custom wooden display stand is included. Ex: Joe Rose collection, New York, circa 1970's. Ex: Private New York collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1162134
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,865.00
This interesting piece is an Aztec flint blade which dates circa 1400-1525 A.D. This piece is approximately 6.3 inches high by 2.5 inches wide. This piece is intact, save for a minute chip at one end, and has a beautiful light brown patina with some spotty black mineral deposits. This piece has a small hole near the center of the piece, and this hole is full of minute crystals which are imbedded in the inner cavity, and run to the outer edge of the hole on each side of the piece. It's quite possible that the small hole with crystals was formed from constant mineral drippings, as this piece may have been a ceremonial offering that was buried in a cave or underground tomb. It is interesting to note that the crystals not only extend to the outer edge on each side of the hole, but also over both edges on each side of the piece, and onto the outer carved/chipped planes of the outer flat surfaces near the edge of each side of the hole. This is an indication that the crystal mineralization, and the hole seen on this piece, developed after this piece was carved and buried. The patina and the mineralization are also excellent indicators which go far in establishing the authenticity of this piece, and there are many forgeries of this type of piece that have been on the market. The carving of this piece is exceptional and very well detailed as well, as one can easily see that the carved/chipped planes become smaller towards the edge of the piece, and this forms a blade of elliptical form that has extremely sharp edges. Aztec blades of this type have been used as a lance or knife blade, but the piece offered here was likely used only in a votive context. The flint stone of this piece is also semi-translucent, and according to Eduardo Matos Moctezuma in "The Great Temple of the Aztecs: Treasures of Tenochtitlan", Thames and Hudson Pub., London, 1988, p. 97: "Many objects of flint and obsidian, locally available raw materials, were also made by the Aztec artisans to be deposited in caches. Flint was most frequently chipped into knives and blades. Some of these knives were decorated with with bits of shell and stone mosaic to form little faces in profile, resembling representations of the flint day sign in the Borbonicus. Similarly, obsidian (a volcanic glass) was chipped to form knives and blades with sharp cutting edges, but it was also carefully worked and polished into miniature imitations, such as small heads and rattles of the rattlesnake. Obsidian is an extremely dense and glassy stone, and is a difficult material to work; such miniatures attest to the skill of the Aztec craftsmen. While flint and obsidian implements symbolically and functionally evoke sacrifice and death, more overt evidence of ritual acts can be found in the numerous examples of worked crania. Sometimes a flint knife is placed between the teeth, like a tongue projecting from a grinning mouth, at other times another knife is inserted into the nasel cavity to create an animated image of death. We do not know wheather these objects were used as masks in rituals, or wheather they were made as symbols of death and sacrifice to be placed in offerings." (See attached photo from the text above, p. 98, ill. 80, of a skull mask with two analogous flint blades such as the example offered here.) The piece offered here was likely cermonial and was votive, but in exactly what context it was used, that is not certain, but whatever the case, the piece offered here is an extremely interesting and rare example of the type. This piece also comes with a custom wooden display stand, and can easily be removed. Ex: Private North Carolina collection. Ex: H. Rose collection, New York. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #902203
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,675.00
This extremely rare Mayan carved bottle dates to the early Classic period, circa 300-400 A.D., and is approximately 3 inches high. This piece is intact with no repair/restoration, and is a light brown terracotta with dark brown highlights. This highly important piece is divided into three segments, and as a whole, displays the three Mayan glyphs that represent the "Palenque Triad", gods GI, GII, and GIII. This trio of gods were celebrated as divine ancestors by the kings of Palenque, and this is the principle reason why these three gods have been labeled the "Palenque Triad". The piece offered here may be from the Palenque region, and it is certainly from the Peten region, as the artistic style of the carved glyphs place it in this region which is modern day Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. The artistic style of the deep carving seen on this piece may even be earlier than circa 300 A.D., and may represent the earliest glyphs that represent these three gods, which would make them late Protoclassic period, circa 200-300 A.D. The GII god glyph, otherwise known as "God K", has elements that are analogous to the Protoclassic glyph seen on Abaj Takalik Stela 5. (See "The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and The Maya", by Mary Miller and Carl Taube, Thames and Hudson Pub., 1993, p. 131.) GI rarely appears on Mayan painted pottery, and is associated with Venus and the sun, and likely represents one of the Mayan "Hero Twins". He has a shark's tooth, square eyes, scalloped eyebrows, and a shell earflare. GII, known as "God K", "Bolon Dzacab", and the "Flare God" has a forehead with a smoking celt or torch, a mirror head, and serpent-headed foot. This god is associated with the accession of Mayan royalty and royal self-inflicted bloodletting. GIII is associated with the "Baby Jaguar" god, the "Water-lily Jaguar" god, and one of the "Hero Twins". He has a "kin" sign on his cheek or forehead, a squint eye, and a Roman nose. The glyphs seen on the piece offered here all have elements of the above gods that are seen within the glyphs itself, and are seldom seen together on one vessel. In addition, each glyph has a central eye that is denoted with a small incised line design, which is slightly different for each eye seen within the glyph, and this minute incised eye detail was probably the last decorative element that was added to the piece by this skilled Mayan artist/scribe. This piece may also have contained red cinnabar, as traces of this compound are seen within the vessel and some low relief points of the glyphs. The red cinnabar was used by the Maya to preserve the departed, and royal tombs were often coated with this substance. The piece offered here was also hand carved, and a mold was not used to create the design, as is often the case with small Mayan bottles and flasks of this type. This piece is extremely rare, if not unique, and Mayan carved and painted vessels with the complete "Palenque Triad" are seldom seen on the market. Ex: Chuck Warren collection, Miami, Fl. (1970's) Ex: Erasmo Toledo collection, Miami, Fl. Ex: Private New York collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: