Nasca Phase 5
Object Place: South Coast, Peru
Medium or Technique
Earthenware with slip paint
Not On View
The main figure painted on this bottle is an unusual version of the so-called “Serpentine Creature” combined with elements of the Anthropomorphic Mythical Being, version AMB-1-D (the corn terminator version) and the AMB-1-B (the killer whale version), as defined by Donald Proulx.
The AMB is a primary iconographic form in Nasca art, and portrays a composite creature that is believed to symbolize the essence of powerful forces in nature. There are more than 15 subtypes of the AMB, with myriad variations within each subtype. Many are associated with agriculture and fertility, but other forces, too, are signified. It is likely that this version is related to agriculture and fertility.
Between the late 1940s and 1972, acquired in New York by Felrath Hines (b. 1913 – d. 1993), New York and Silver Spring, MD [see note]; 1993, by inheritance to his widow, Dorothy C. Fisher, Silver Spring, MD and Brookline, MA; gift of Dorothy C. Fisher to her daughter, Charlotte Sanford Mason, Brookline; 2017, gift of Charlotte Sanford Mason to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 21, 2017)
NOTE: Artist and conservator Felrath Hines very probably acquired the vessel while he was living in New York, from the late 1940s until 1972, before he moved to Washington, DC.
Gift of Charlotte Sandford Mason