OLMEC - Tecomate
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OLMEC - Tecomate

Galerie Mermoz

Date 1150-800 B.C.

Dimension 10.9 x 13.7 x 5.5 cm (4¹/₄ x 5³/₈ x 2¹/₈ inches)

Tecomate - Bowl in the Shape of a Gourd - OLMEC - Mexico - 1150- 800 B.C. - Pre-Columbian

Height : 10 ,9 cm

Diameter: 13,7 cm

Diameter of the opening: 5,5 cm

White-beige terracotta with thin layer of Kaolin

Documents (originals) provided to the acquirer:

- Certificate of authenticity of the Galerie Mermoz,

Santo Micali, Expert, (CNE) Compagnie Nationale des Experts

- Certificate of Art Loss Register

- Passport of free circulation

- Thermoluminescence report

- Invoice

This splendid container is a model of purity and elegance, realized by a craftsman who is a master in the work of clay. Behind its apparent simplicity, it is indeed remarkable on the aesthetic and technical level. Its perfect spherical shape, its fine walls, its glossy polish comparable to that of ivory and the homogeneity of its natural hue make it a complete work of art, recalling that the first great ceramic tradition of Mesoamerica was Olmec.


Before the art of polishing hard stones matured, clay was the privileged medium of the first Mesoamerican craftsmen and artists. The latter produced pieces of striking beauty, deploying a repertoire of forms and styles exceptional for the time.


These men modeled clay lumps into artifacts and vessels without metal tools or a potter's wheel, and fired their productions in open air kilns, which implies a great knowledge of the firing technic of clay. The early Olmec’s mastery of firing can be observed in particular through the subtle cloud effects and brown and orange spots visible on the body of our bowl.

This bowl is named Tecomate, from the nahuatl  word tecomatl meaning calabash. Its wall is thicker at is center and joins at the top to form a tighter opening. The delicacy of its walls makes it an extremely light and delicate object and therefore particularly precious. Before the technic of ceramic was transmitted from South America to Mesoamerica, around 1800 B.C., dry calabashes were used as containers

Date: 1150-800 B.C.

Dimension: 10.9 x 13.7 x 5.5 cm (4¹/₄ x 5³/₈ x 2¹/₈ inches)

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Galerie Mermoz

Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican and South American

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