Exceptional Colima Hunchback Figure,
Protoclassic, ca. 100 B.C. - A.D. 250
height 10 3/4in (27.3cm)
Red and reddish-brown-slipped earthenware
Private Collection, Texas, acquired in the 1960s
Anthropos Gallery, California
Private Collection, California
cf. Townsend (1998: cat. 27) for a similar example.
According to Townsend (1998: p. 24), The double-pendants on the necklace are emblems of high rank and status found throughout Mesoamerica.
The figure sits hunched over, accentuating his double-hunched deformity, with his right hand holding his raised knee, the left resting on his left knee, both knees deformed with pointed "saber" shins, wearing a double-pendant necklace, cicatrice tattoos on the arms and a plain hat; painted overall in reddish brown with burnishes and magnesium oxide deposits throughout the surface.
Colima ceramics are distinguished by the wide variety of subjects represented and most notably by the naturalism with which they are portrayed and the heavy reliance on modeling for detail. The present work, although somewhat small in size, is a monumental achievement by the artist who captured the naturalistic accuracy of the figure, together with the juxtaposition of shapes, angles and lines caused by the deformities.