COLIMA - Horned lizard
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COLIMA - Horned lizard

Galerie Mermoz

Date 100 BC. - 250 AD.

Dimension 35.56 x 81.28 x 62.23 cm (14 x 32 x 24¹/₂ inches)

Dragon / Horned lizard - COMALA - COLIMA - Mexico - 100 B.C -250 A.D - Pre-Columbian

Height : 14 cm

Length : 32 cm

Width : 24.5 cm

Brown hollow terracotta with orange-red slip with significant traces of manganese oxide.

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

The beauty of this ceramic testifies as much to the talent of Colima artists as to its value in the eyes of the latter. We find here everything that designates it as a ritual and ceremonial object that belonged to an important member of the community.

Very lively, the subject is a masterpiece of naturalism. Sublimated by a magnificent glazed surface, reddish-brown colors with an orange accents is dazzling. This color, specific to Colima terracotta, is the result of clever oxidation firing (without smoke), which in this case has been perfectly mastered.

Placed as a funeral offering in a deep well tomb, typical of northwestern Mexico, this object was intended to accompany a deceased person, no doubt a dignitary, on his final journey to the afterlife and to prove to the spirits and to the ancestors his quality of leader. Note: The black traces of manganese oxide visible on the back of this piece are a consequence of its prolonged burial.

This medium-sized horned lizard is generally found in arid areas extending from southern Canada to Guatemala and has amazing abilities that have made it evidently a unique animal to the people inhabiting the northwest coast of Mexico.

With his clearly accomplished know-how, the artist has faithfully reproduced his characteristics: the two horns visible on his skull which earned him his name, his inquisitive round eyes whose engraved rim highlights the orbit, his triangular face, its pointed muzzle, its wide jaw and its large extensible mouth signified by a long-curved notch, not to mention its oval body and its pointed tail. His claws, however, were not shown.

The imposing size of this representation and its beautiful swelling shapes evoke the ability of the lizard to double in size when it feels threatened to scare away its opponents. The thorns that cover its body, and bristle when it swells, are here represented by round protuberances added by pelletizing over the entire surface of the back, legs, and tail. The position of the body and flexed legs is seen when the lizard is on alert.

Date: 100 BC. - 250 AD.

Dimension: 35.56 x 81.28 x 62.23 cm (14 x 32 x 24¹/₂ inches)

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Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican and South American

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