Articles / General
Nayarit Pairs, And Spares
We've always loved Nayarit and other pairs from western Mexico; although Colima and Jalisco ones are somewhat rarer.
We buy nice ones whenever we're offered them.
But there's an interesting fact connected to them; the only true pairs are joined ones. Huaceros opening tombs have always known that a normal find will have an uneven number of male and female figures - ratios as high as 8 to 1 of either sex are not unusual, some even with all of a single sex.
But, and it's a big but...Couples sell much better and for far more than 2 single pieces, or a menage a trois.
So, they become couples, with some singles left over. And, just like real life, some of the paired off couples don't go together as well as they should.
And that's because it appears pre-Columbian potters seem to have worked the same way that today's potters do.
The person or persons doing the shaping of the pieces then turn them over to the painters. So a male may not go to the same painter as a female from the same potter. Sometimes, 'specially in Zacatecas, you get a group of males, quite obviously made by the same hand, painted totally differently.
Sometimes females, differing greatly from the males in things such as head shape, eye placement, height of ears and style of earrings, will be painted identically to the males.
So, getting a true pair is far more difficult than it appears, unless they're joined.
Then, while the physical aspects may differ tremendously, the painting is pretty consistent, figure to figure.