This is a wonderful orange ware, openwork molded vessel, dating to the Moche IV-V phase (circa 450-750 C.E.). Depicted is a couple engaged in sexual activity. The female, portrayed rather portly, is shown reclining on her knees with her head turned to the side. She has fine facial features and large circular ear spools. She is being mounted by a male, who is holding an implement on her body with his left hand. The opening of the vessel is atop his head.
The ancient authenticity of the vessel was confirmed by a thermoluminescence test. A copy of the TL test report comes with the object.
Steve Bourget, Sex, Death and Sacrifice in Moche Religion and Visual Culture (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2006), p. 65 ff.
Mary Weismantel, "Moche Sex Pots: Reproduction and Temporality in Ancient South America", American Anthropologist Vol. 106 (2004), p. 495-505.
Rafael Larco Hoyle, Checan, Essays on Erotic Elements in Peruvian Art (Geneva, Nagel, 1965), translation of: Checan, ensayo sobre las representaciones eróticas del Perú precolombino.
Circa 450-750 C.E.
Height 16 cm, length 20.5 cm
Dutch private collection; with Howard Nowes Ancient Art, New York, 2003; previously collection of Russell B. Aitken.