Cup (Qero)On Display

Here, seven Inca men in full-feathered regalia meet two musicians in Spanish apparel. The Inca used vessels like this qero for drinking beer made from maize (corn). Various Andean cultures, from the ancient period to well into the period of Spanish colonization, adopted this same basic shape in silver, gold, ceramic, and wood. Painted surfaces distinguish colonial-era wooden qeros; artisans mixed pigments like cinnabar with plant resin to create a durable, waterproof lacquer.

  • Colonial period (1532-1821), 18th century
  • 8 x 6 7/8 in. Diam. (20.3 x 17.5 cm)
  • Carved on underside: eight-pointed star (crossed lines) Two stickers: on white with number 28407; one green, from Sotheby's New York, with number 197
  • 1994.28
  • Museum purchase with funds provided by John M. Harbert III, by exchange
  • Sold as lot #197 at Sotheby's New York, Sale 6500, Pre-Columbian Art, Nov. 22, 1993