Stirrup-spout bottle

Late Intermediate Period
A.D. 1100–1470

Object Place: Perú, North Coast


23.2 x 18 cm (9 1/8 x 7 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View





Stirrup-spouted, mold-made jar embellished with a modeled frog at the base of each side of the stirrup-spout, and ten long-beaked birds (perhaps ducks) decorate the side of the “stirrup.” A small monkey sits on its haunches at the base of the vertical spout. The black surface color was created by a reduction firing.

The stirrup-spout vessel is a unique Andean form well-adapted to its function and the dry climate. Liquids would not quickly evaporate nor easily spill from these bottles, often pictured being carried by warriors, runners and performers. As bottles for pouring blood or other liquid offerings during religious ceremonies, the tightly constricted spout requires only a small amount of fluid to achieve the full ritual effect.


According to a note in the file: from Santa, Peru; Mrs. C. A. Cummings by July 1910; to MFA, July 1910, gift of Mrs. C. A. Cummings.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Charles Amos Cummings