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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world


Flask 1300 - 1400

RCIN 94765

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This flask may date to as early as 1300 AD. It was made in northern Peru, most likely by the Chimu people, who flourished in the area around the Moche River from around 950 AD. Chimu pottery is characterised by its simple, monochrome style, which relies on surface texture and the object’s form rather than colourful painting for its decorative appeal. Pieces like this flask were typically made in moulds, and then pressed with patterns of zig-zags, chevrons or animals. When fired in a kiln deprived of oxygen, the iron compounds in the clay darken, causing the vessels to turn black.

It was presented to Queen Elizabeth II by Kathie Shanks-Rubinos, September 2001.