Portrait bottle

Early Intermediate Period to Middle Horizon
A.D. 400–800

Object Place: Perú, North or Central Coast


23.1 x 10.5 x 10.8 cm (9 1/8 x 4 1/8 x 4 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: cream and red-brown slip paint

Not On View





Stirrup-spouted, portrait vessel depicting a man missing one eye and with pursed lips. He wears a head wrap embellished with geometric motifs, the wrap extending down the side of his face and around his chin. The vessel was fired at too high a temperature, which caused it to warp, seen especially in the slumping of its rear face, the misshapen vertical spout, and the crazing of the cream slip paint. Although the mold from which this vessel was made is certainly Moche in style and cultural origin, the slip colors, their thin application, and the gritty surface of the clay are more characteristic of Chancay-style pottery from the coastal region of central Perú. The stirrup section of the spout is missing.


Acquired in Peru by Dr. Samuel K. Lothrop between December 1940 and November 1944, probably purchased from a dealer; to the Peabody Museum of Harvard University in 1946; from the Peabody Museum of Harvard University to the MFA in exchange for unregistered material from the excavations at Kerma (Egypt) in 1950. (Accession Date: February 9, 1950)

Credit Line

By exchange with the Peabody Museum, Harvard