Protoclassic, circa 100 B.C. to A.D. 250.
Tala Tonala Culture, Atotonilco, Jalisco, West Meico.
Ceramic sculptures.
Heights: 1) 9 in. (22.9 cm.); 2) 11 in. (28 cm.); 3) 9.5 in. (24.1 cm.)

Provenance: The Sternberg Family Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, acquired by Mr. & Mrs. Lionel Steinberg of Palm Springs, California in 1968.


Each figure in this group of three, playing a variety of musical instruments, is in impeccable condition, decorated with white pigment,
still intact, against the red slip, which is exceedingly rare among most "Sheep-face" figures.

The female drummer is seated with one hand on her ornate drum and one held up to her face. She sports large ear ornaments attached to her typically
pointed cat-like ears, a snake-like headband around her typically elongated head, a multi-stranded necklace, and an intricately detailed skirt.

The taller seated female, with similarly complex adornments, is holding an undulating snake-like wand or scepter
painted with white geometric chevron formations, and wears an elaborately decorated mantle.

The third seated figure, a male with crossed legs, also displaying similar embellishments and features, holds
an antler striker in his right hand, and an ornately painted turtle carapace as a drum on his left arm.

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