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    Description

    Double-chambered Flute with Head of an Old Person with Balloon-like Breasts
    Veracruz
    A.D. 300 - 600
    Buff ceramic
    Height 7 5/8 in. Width 3 7/8 in.

    Although mold-made, this head of a very old person is fully detailed and expressive, the overall network of wrinkles carefully shown. A non-symmetrical headdress has an arrangement of four feathers toward its left. This is balanced at its right by a vividly rendered hummingbird-like avian thrusting its beak into the headdress proper. A band of appliquéd disks joins the two side elements across the top of the headdress. Large ear spools complete the figure's décor. Coils of clay were attached at the outside of either flute barrel to suggest shoulders and arms. The image is completed by pendulous, balloon-like breasts. The two flute barrels, joined near the end, further the suggestion of a full figure. Each barrel has three finger holes.
    The large number of surviving examples, plus the considerable typological complexity of some, suggest that music was a central and highly developed component of ancient Veracruz ritual performance. The use of flutes with hand drums, some played at the same time by one performer, survives today among a number of Middle American groups.
    The flute was found broken into several pieces. These have been reglued with replacement material, except for the breasts, which are largely rebuilt.

    Provenance
    Collection of Stanley Marcus, Dallas
    Collection of Paul L. and Alice C. Baker, Tuscon, Arizona
    Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco: sale 7594E, 6 December 2004, Lot 1520, p.150

    Publications
    Jane Stevenson Day, PH.D, Precolumbian Art From the Collection of Paul L. and Alice C. Baker, Tucson, Tucson Museum of Art, 1996, ill. p.79, fig.87





    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2006
    29th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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