Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Flat Stamp

8th–12th century
H. 2 in. (5.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Timothy, Peter, and Jonathan Zorach, 1991
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 357
Ceramic stamps, both cylindrical and flat, are thought to have been used to decorate textiles and/or the human body. They were made by many Ecuadorian peoples from the beginning of the first millennium B.C. until about 700 A.D., when patterns on textiles began to be woven into the fabric structure rather than stamped on to it. The stamps are carved into a wide range of motifs, from animal, human, and floral to imaginative geometric and abstract designs. This flat stamp, in an almost cubist approach to the form, depicts a bird with an angular step-fret design behind its head. The head, crest, and long beak are shown in profile while the body with partially spread wings and tail is shown from the back and one foot is seen from above. The stamp has a small handle in back.
Margaret and Tessim Zorach, New York; Timothy, Peter, and Jonathan Zorach, until 1991

Related Objects

Female Figure

Date: late 3rd millennium B.C. Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1980.83.15 On view in:Gallery 357


Date: 2200–2000 B.C. Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1980.83.12 On view in:Gallery 357

Roller Stamp

Date: 9th–15th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1991.436.5 On view in:Gallery 357

Roller and Flat Stamps

Date: 9th–15th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1980.34.30 On view in:Gallery 357


Date: 9th–4th century B.C. Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1991.436.2 On view in:Gallery 357