A wonderful ceramic vessel, guaranteed to make you smile.
This stirrup spouted container, painted in cream and red-brown, dates to the Moche IV-V phase (ca. 450-750 C.E.). It depicts a large spotted llama, lying on the ground, its legs folded. On his back we see a man, barefooted and wearing a hooded, full length garment which is striped. He is asleep, reclining on his stomach on top of what appears to be a saddle bag. The rein, which is attached to a large ear-stud in the animal's proper left ear, is still in his right hand. It is very possible that the man is drunk, because he is not only asleep in a quite unusual place, but he is also riding the llama backwards!
The ancient authenticity of the vessel was confirmed by a thermoluminescence test. A copy of the TL test report accompanies the object.
Moche IV-V, circa 450-750 C.E.
Height 25.5 cm.
Dutch private collection, acquired from Arte Primitivo, New York, circa 2003; previously Leonard Kalina Fine Arts, California, 1995; John-Platt Collection, Daniel M. Friedenberg. Daniel M. Friedenberg was president of John-Platt Enterprises, Inc. and for 35 years also worked as curator for the Jewish Museum in New York; he also was member of the museum's board.
Professionally repaired from a few large original pieces with restoration only over the break lines; part of right ear restored; head and spout reattached; some touchup to the painted surface; two minuscule drill holes from the TL test. A magnificent example!