Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel - PF.3967, Origin: Costa Rica, Circa: 1200 AD to 1550 AD, Dimensions: 15" (38.1cm) high, Catalogue: V20, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Guanacaste-Nicoya, Medium: Terracotta. A traditional image of Costa Rica, and extremely exquisite is the jaguar. In many works of art, it is portrayed elegantly in a variety of ways; the pear-shaped vessel is one of the more beautiful designs. Made of terracotta and then painted with a cream/white slip and decorated with black and red decorative motifs, the whole piece is visually very striking. The face of the jaguar is in the center of the vessel in sculptural splendor with its fangs displayed. Around the face is a serrated collar, which accentuates the face and brings about a connection between the main body of the vessel and the extremities such as the neck and the arms and legs. The neck is decorated in registers with beautiful geometric patterns. However, the legs and arms show a charming jaguar motif. Combined, all of these forms of decoration create a beautifully symmetrical work of art capturing many of the traditional ideas of the community, and allowing us to have a brief glimpse into this piece of history.
Ancient Central America & Mexico