Property from an American Private Collection
COLIMA FIGURE OF A DWARF PROTOCLASSIC, CIRCA 100 BC-AD 250
Height: 12 ¼ in (31 cm)
Overall excellent condition. Strong details on hands, feet, musculature and facial expressions. Good delineation of red markings on the shoulders, hands and ankles. Remnants of encrustation, natural minor cracking from firing. Surface consistent with age and wear.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
D. Daniel Michel, acquired in 1958 (inventory no. 58:051)
Ancient Art of the New World, New York, acquired from the above
American Private Collection, acquired from the above in 1991
Alan Wardwell, Primitive Art from Chicago Collections, Chicago, 1960, p. 3, no. 23
Eva Ungar Grudin, Ancient American Art: An Aesthetic View, Waltham, Massachusetts, 1981, Figs. 26, 27
The Art Institute of Chicago, 1957, temporary loan from D. Daniel Michel
The Art Institute of Chicago, Primitive Art from Chicago Collections, November-December, 1960
The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, Ancient American Art: An Aesthetic View, November 7-December 20, 1981
In ancient Mesoamerica, visionary and shamanistic abilities were believed to be possessed by people with physical deformities. As such, effigy vessels depicting dwarfs and hunchbacks are a special category. The present example exhibits both dwarfism and a hunchback, along with a horn atop his forehead, also associated with shamanistic ability (Mirelle Holbeske, Karel Arnaut, eds., Offering for a New Life, Funerary images from pre-Columbian West Mexico, Antwerp, 1998, unpaginated, no. 8). This iconography defines this dwarf as a sacred individual who was involved in ritual ceremonies. For a similar example in the Art Institute of Chicago see p. 83, fig. 14 in Richard F. Townsend, ed., Ancient West Mexico, Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past, Chicago, 1998.