Terracotta Trophy Head with a Handle - PF.3659, Origin: Costa Rica, Circa: 300 BC to 300 AD, Dimensions: 10.25" (26.0cm) high, Catalogue: V16, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Medium: Terracotta. This very handsome vessel is distinguished by the use of color carefully placed for maximum effect. Touches of black around the eyes make them appear even more penetrating. White lines running vertically, at right angles and in a chevron shape decorate both the main body of the vessel and the two faces on the handle. Such precise patterns probably represent ritual body paint used by members of religious cults. The small heads are not only powerful in their own right, but also serve to give greater dimension and strength to the vessel as a whole. As with most objects of superb quality, this vessel was probably owned by a member of the upper classes who must have enjoyed, as we do, its lovely proportions, fine balance and dramatic sense of mystery.
Ancient Central America & Mexico