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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Ai-Apec stirrup spout vessel

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Ai-Apec stirrup spout vessel

ca. AD 200-500

Ai-Apec is a chief deity of the Moche, often depicted as feline-fanged. Here he exists in a fantastical mountain landscape wearing a tunic, collar, and pendant earrings in the form of feline heads and clutching a staff. His helmet is surmounted by a pair of projecting feline heads with sinuous serpent bodies encircling the base of the mountain. The mountain peaks are topped with snail heads.
Blackware ceramic
10 × 8 1/2 × 8 in. (25.4 × 21.6 × 20.3 cm)
Gift in honor of Assen Nicolov
Provenance: [Galerie El Jaguar, Caracas, Venezuela]; purchased by Lenora and Jimmy Belilty, Paris, France, probably by 1979; [Sotheby’s, New York, Pre-Columbian Art, Nov. 23, 1998, sale no. 7224, lot no. 14, reproduced]; purchased by Assen and Christine Nicolov, Seattle, Washington
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Published ReferencesJosé Antonio de Lavalle, Coleccion Arte y Tesoros del Peru, Moche, Lima, 1985, pl. 53.
José Antonio de Lavalle, Coleccion Arte y Tesoros del Peru, Trujillo, Lima, 1990, pg. 133.

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