Fine and Rare Moche Portrait Head Vessel of a Ruler,
Middle Mochica, ca. A.D. 200 - 500
Earthenware with black slip, stone, shell inlays
height 5 3/8in (13.7cm)
Stanley Marcus Collection, Texas, acquired prior to 1970
Paul and Alice Baker Collection, Tucson, Arizona
Acquired from the above by the present owner
The head deeply hollowed out and resting on a conical neck, the face inlaid with white and light-orange shell on the left side of the nose and left eye continuing into the cheek below in a scrolling pattern, the "reflection" of the design on the right side but over the right side of the mouth, each eye inlaid with shell and punctuated with a blue stone for the pupils, wearing a skinned jaguar slain by the ruler around his head inlaid with light-orange shell and iridescent shell in small circles, with a jaguar head at the front with inlaid shell teeth, nostrils and eyes punctuated with similar blue stones as the portrait head; fine black burnished slip.