View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3. Olmec Gadrooned Vessel, Las Bocas, Early Preclassic, circa 1200 - 900 BC.
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Olmec Gadrooned Vessel, Las Bocas, Early Preclassic, circa 1200 - 900 BC

Property from an American Private Collection

Olmec Gadrooned Vessel, Las Bocas, Early Preclassic, circa 1200 - 900 BC

Olmec Gadrooned Vessel, Las Bocas, Early Preclassic, circa 1200 - 900 BC

Property from an American Private Collection

Olmec Gadrooned Vessel, Las Bocas

Early Preclassic, circa 1200 - 900 BC


Diameter: 3 3/4 in (9.5 cm)

Excellent condition, appears intact. Good even burnish and coloring overall.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Arthur N. Seiff, New York, acquired by 1969
Sotheby's, New York, November 21, 1988, lot 120, consigned by the above
The Merrin Gallery, New York, acquired at the above auction
American Private Collection, acquired from the above in 1988
Julie Jones, Precolumbian Art in New York: Selections from Private Collections, New York, 1969, n.p., fig. 18
The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, Precolumbian Art in New York: Selections from Private Collections, September 12 - November 9, 1969

The carefully formed, thin-walled vessels of ancient central Mexico are known as tecomates, meaning gourds. Gourds were used as containers in pre-ceramic times, and the essential ribbed form is emulated on this small vessel. The lustrous creamy finish, achieved by burnishing a kaolin slip, is offset by the blush of orange firing clouds that occurred during the open pit firing. The transformation of an everyday container into an elegant harmonious form is a testament to the artistry of ancient ceramicists.


This bowl was included in the important exhibition of Pre-Columbian art at the Museum of Primitive Art in 1969, at which time the bowl was owned by the New York collector Arthur N. Seiff.