Female effigy bottle

Early Intermediate period (Nasca Phase 7)

Object Place: Peru, South Coast


Overall: 17.1 × 13.3 × 13.3 cm (6 3/4 × 5 1/4 × 5 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: slip paint

On View

Ancient South America Gallery (Gallery LG33)





This bottle is modeled and painted in the form of a woman grasping two bunches of produce, perhaps the tumbo plant. She wears a long-sleeved tunic, its lower edge embellished with lobsters and pollywogs. A mantle, decorated with geometric designs, covers her head and back.

Representations of women are rare before A. D. 500, when they became common on Nasca ceramics. This woman, holding bunches of produce, wears a tunic embellished with lobsters and pollywogs.


Possibly as early as the 1920s to the 1940s, collection of Dr. Samuel K. Lothrop (1892-1965), archaeologist, Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Harvard University; by descent through family; March 1998, sold by Skinner Auctioneers, Boston, lot 27, to Lands Beyond Gallery, New York; sold by Lands Beyond Gallery to Hy Zaret; 2008, gift of Shirley Zaret to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift from the Collection of Shirley and Hy Zaret