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Ceramics & Stoneware

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Open Access

Double Chambered Whistling Vessel

Artist: Unknown Peruvian Artist Primary
Date: circa 200-400
3rd century - 4th century
Dimensions: 8 x 12 in. (20.32 x 30.48 cm)
Object Type: Vessel
Creation Place: South America, Peru
Medium and Support: Pottery
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Fass
Accession Number: 2018.12.01
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

These kinds of two-chambered vessels are some of the best known types of pottery from the Vicús culture of northwestern Peru. This vessel is comprised of two hollow pottery forms, one of which is surmounted with a seated smiling figure with large features, the other with a spout. The decorative motifs on this vessel are common to Vicús pottery, with a red-brown slip and post-firing geometric patterns in black and yellow. The vessel was designed to create a whistling sound when one blows into the spout on the chamber to the right.


Purchased at auction from Parke-Bernet Galleries(Sale #2828, Lot #91) by Jacob Fass on March 29, 1969; 2003 gift to Fairfield University; 2018 transferred to the Fairfield University Art Museum's permanent collection.


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Vicús Culture
The Vicús culture developed in the Piura region on the northwest coast of Peru. This region functioned as a cultural frontier between the areas now occupied by Ecuador and Peru,
Containers designed to serve as receptacles for a liquid or other substance, usually those of circular section and made of some durable material; especially containers of this nature in domestic use, employed in connection with the preparation or serving of food or drink, and usually of a size suitable for carrying by hand.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Object genre including visual works and other articles made of ceramic, which is any of various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature. Ceramic ware, earthenware, porcelain ware, and brick products are examples of ceramics.

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