Animal Effigy Jar

SKU PF.3691

100 AD to 1550 AD


13″ (33.0cm) high




Costa Rica

Gallery Location



The lower body of this large pear shaped jar is modeled and painted to represent an alligator. The two front hollow, rattle legs are designed to represent those of the beast. The modeled and painted alligator head and tail are attached to either side of the vessel, and have appliquéd bumps representing the scales of the beast. The decoration is vertically banded above the creature, and is made up of geometric designs. A further horizontal band is painted around the mouth-rim. In this type of polychrome vessel, the alligator prevailed, along with the jaguar, in design schemes. The rich geometric patterns create an overall surface decoration as well as having iconographic importance. One can also imagine the magical powers bestowed on this beast, and the respect given to it by the craftsman. – (PF.3691)

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