Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bottle with Mouse

4th–7th century
H. 6 in. (15.24 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Nathan Cummings, 1966
Accession Number:
Not on view
Contemporary with the Moche peoples on the coast, those of Recuay were in the highlands around the Callejón de Huaylas in the north-central Andes. They flourished from about 1200 B.C. to 800 A.D., producing distinctive ceramics and stone sculptures decorated with images of rulers and supernatural creatures apparently related to Recuay cosmology. One of the best known of these images is the so-called moon animal or moon monster, a foxlike or feline animal with a long, toothy snout and head crest. The creature is frequently depicted on fine Recuay ceramics. Often made of white kaolin-like clay and decorated by resist, or negative, patterns, as is this example, Recuay ceramics exhibit quite engaging imagery. The moon animal appears twice on each chamber depicted in profile, with big round eyes, large clawed paws, and a curled tail. From the top of its head extends a curved appendage. One of the chambers has a flared spout, the other is topped by a naturalistically modeled rodent, probably a mouse. Resist painting was widely used throughout the Andes, but it is exceptionally elaborate on Recuay examples. It is often further enhanced with red slip paint, as here.
Nathan Cummings, Chicago, until 1966

Related Objects

Seated Figure Bottle

Artist: Date: 2nd–5th century
Accession Number: 82.1.30
Date: 2nd–5th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 82.1.30 On view in:Gallery 357

Bottle with Mouse

Artist: Date: 4th–7th century
Accession Number: 66.30.2
Date: 4th–7th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 66.30.2 On view in:Not on view

Feline Bottle

Artist: Date: 12th–15th century
Accession Number: 64.228.17
Date: 12th–15th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 64.228.17 On view in:Gallery 357

Fox Warrior Bottle

Artist: Date: 7th–8th century
Accession Number: 82.1.29
Date: 7th–8th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 82.1.29 On view in:Gallery 357

Storage Jar (Aryballos)

Artist: Date: 15th–early 16th century
Accession Number: 1978.412.68
Date: 15th–early 16th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1978.412.68 On view in:Gallery 357