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Stirrup Spout Bottle With Fineline Drawing

Moche, Early Intermediate Period
400 - 600 CE
29 cm x 15.5 cm (11 7/16 in. x 6 1/8 in.)

On view


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This stirrup spout bottle is painted with two scenes of Wrinkle Face and Iguana, individuals who are often shown together in Moche iconography and appear to be companions. Wrinkle Face is normally depicted with a feline headdress, a shirt with a step pattern, and a double-headed serpent belt. His companion, Iguana, is shown with a reptilian face, a serrated back and tail, and a bird headdress; he frequently has a carrying cloth tied around his waist or shoulder.
Iguana, shown twice on the vessel, is remarkably consistent in posture and attire, but there are notable differences in the depictions of Wrinkle Face. Wrinkle Face is shown on one side with the spear in his arm, and on the other side without it. It is interesting to note that when he has the spear in his arm, his stomach is clearly swollen, and his shirt is in disarray. Perhaps these are conditions that were thought to correlate with the spear injury. We are apparently witnessing Iguana and Wrinkle Face at two different times. Perhaps we are seeing them before the injury and later after the injury occurred. Alternately, we may be seeing Wrinkle Face injured, and subsequently after recovery.

Benson, Elizabeth P. 1972 The Mochica: A Culture of Peru. Art and Civilization of Indian America. Praeger, New York. fig. 2-9.

Boone, Elizabeth Hill (ED.) 1996 Andean Art at Dumbarton Oaks. Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks; No. 1. Dumbarton Oaks, Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. vol. 1, p. 129-131, pl. 24.

Acquisition History
Gift to Dumbarton Oaks by Michael D. Coe, 1969.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Pre-Columbian Collection, Washington, DC.

Anthropomorphic | Fangs | Felines | Moche | Serpents | Stepped Patterns | Wrinkle-face