Spout and bridge vessel in the shape of a dog

Nasca culture (200 BC - AD 600)
From Peru

Vessels modelled into animals or edible plants are a common form in Nasca art. The vessel is painted in three colours: black, brown and white. A limited range of colours was used in the early phases of the Nasca cultural sequence, while at least ten were used in later phases. The most common shapes are bowls, dishes, vases and vessels with one or two spouts and bridge.

The innovative techniques and aesthetic qualities of Nasca polychrome ceramics make them quite unique in the Andean region. They were most commonly made by coiling. Slip was then applied, and the vessel was fired and burnished to a characteristic glossy finish. The slip was made from different mineral pigments such as manganese (black) and iron oxide (red). Their use represents an innovation on previous resin painting and ensured the endurance of the painted motifs.

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More information


A.F. Aveni, Nasca: Eighth Wonder of the Wo (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)

R. Stone-Miller, Art of the Andes: from Chavín (London: Thames & Hudson, 1995)

L.G. Lumbreras, The peoples and cultures of an (Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1976)

J. Reinhard, 'Interpreting the Nazca Lines' in The ancient Americas: art from (The Art Institute of Chicago, 1992), pp. 291-302

H. Silverman, Cahuachi in the ancient Nasca (University of Iowa Press, 1993)


Height: 12.000 cm
Length: 15.500 cm
Width: 8.000 cm

Museum number

AOA Ethno 1938-19


Christy Collection


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