Ceremonial vessel

The vessel is water tight and leans charmingly like a prosperous mama calabasa on an autumn afternoon.

We traveled through the volcanic highlands of Mexico to find this impressive copper vase. The style echoes ancient pumpkin-shaped vessels seen in museum collections made out of clay, but the refinement of this pot could only be achieved with hand tempered copper.

In researching the piece we found an interesting pedigree. Hernando Cortes, the terribly successful Spanish explorer so mad for gold, also fancied copper and in 1513 opened a mine in the remote region of Michoacan which proved to be a true motherlode. During the next four hundred years the copper was fashioned into tools, ornaments and bullion. In the 1930's, native artists married the new art deco style with old designs. To this day the copper is worked by the descendants of the original artisan families, but only an exceptional artist can make a piece of this quality.

Diameter: 16 inches
Height: 8.5 inches
Material: Copper
Culture: 1930's style
Country: Michoacan, Mexico
Prise: $425.