Seated male portrait vessel

Early Intermediate Period (Moche Phases I-III)
AD 100–450

Object Place: Peru, North Coast


22.9 x 10.7 x 13.9 cm (9 x 4 3/16 x 5 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: orange, cream, and light brown slip paint

On View

Ancient South America Gallery (Gallery LG33)





Portrait vessel depicting a man seated on a low bench. He wears the five-tiered, pointed cap with chin strap and 4-tiered back flap typical of warrior garb. His head is tipped to the right, his eyes are closed, and his arms are folded across his chest. Body adornment includes large, circular earspools and wide cuffs on his wrists, which likely were made of precious metal (silver or gold). Two vertical bands of orange slip paint embellish each side of his face. His brown-painted long hair is divided into two tresses, each falling behind his earflares and tucked inside the back of his loincloth at the waist. The vessel’s stirrup-spout does not survive, the two attachment areas visible on the figure’s back.


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