Colima Hunchback Standing Figure, Comala Style,
Protoclassic, ca. 100 B.C. - A.D. 250
Earthenware with reddish-brown slip
height 16 1/2in (41.9cm)
Dr. David V. Becker Collection, New York, acquired in the 1960s
Thence by descent
"From the Spanish reports it is known that hunchbacks were among the jesters, musicians, and dancers at Moctezuma's court, where they held a position comparable to that of the jesters of medieval Europe. It is very likely that hunchbacks were believed to be endowed with magic powers as bearers of good or bad luck." (Von Winning, 1968: p. 71)
Probably a dwarf, standing at attention with a timeless expression, the figure carries a small dog in the right arm and a cup in the left, the lower back deformed outward as a hunchback with an exposed vertebral column; exceptional reddish-brown naturalistic patina.