Colonial Peruvian Stone Bull ‘Illa’ Figurine (#18-043)


A wonderful carved alabaster bull figurine from the Andean regions, and most likely Peru.  Colonial period, 19th century.  Carvings such as this one were called  ‘illas’ or ‘encaychus,’ and were considered to be infused with the vital energies of the animal depicted, as well as having protective and magical properties related to the health of the herds and fields.  Carved in a highly stylized manner as is typical, with a simplified rectangular body, and rounded head.  There is a cleft in the center of the head which forms two protuberances, indicating the bull’s horns.  Each side of the figurine is engraved with lines that form a grid of squares, likely representing ‘chacras’ or fields.  The small figurine has a deep and glossy patina, from age and handling.  A fine little colonial era amulet, that feels good in the hand.

Circa: 19th Century.  1 3/4″ L  1 1/4″ H  7/16″ W

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