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Simon Bolivar Kero

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Simon Bolivar Kero

- Item No.

A rare and magnificent wooden kero used by Simon Bolivar

Key Features

  • A rare and magnificent wood kero used by Simon Bolivar
  • Used to toast to the liberation of Peru and Bolivia from the Spanish
  • An important souvenir of the meeting between Bolivar and Incan nobleman Jose Domingo Choquehuanca
  • Eleven days after their meeting, Bolivar became president of the newly formed Bolivia
  • Personal items, used by Bolivar, are exceptionally rare
  • Circa 1825
  • 6 ¼" wide x 7 1/8" deep x 6 ½" high

Item Details

  • Width:
    6 1/4" Inches
  • Height:
    6 1/2" Inches
  • Depth:
    7 1/8" Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    Other
This rare and magnificent wood kero was one of a pair that was used by the famed Latin American leader Simon Bolivar along with Jose Domingo Choquehuanca to toast to the liberation of Peru and Bolivia from the Spanish. This important event took place in Pucara, Peru during August 1825 and was their first meeting since the liberation of Peru and the same week as the declaration of the Independence of Bolivia.

When Bolivar and  Choquehuanca met, the highly educated lawyer, a descendant of native Inca nobility, recited for the prestigious leader what is now considered one of the greatest speeches in Latin American history. He praised Bolivar by saying that his "glory will grow as the shadow grows when the sun sets." Historians have referred to Choquehuanca's speech as one of the most splendid intellectual tributes ever given. When Bolivar and Choquehuanca parted, they each took the kero used by the other as a souvenir of their highly important meeting.

Clearly the importance of such a meeting between the liberator of Latin America and a notable descendant of Incan royalty cannot be ignored, especially as their meeting was the necessary prelude for the birth of the "Republic of Bolivia." By sitting down together and toasting their liberation from the Spanish Empire, Bolivar and Choquehuanca were preserving an Ancient Incan ritual. In typical Inca tradition, the vessels used by both men were made in identical pairs since custom required that two individuals drink together to consolidate their relationship.

 Eleven days after their meeting, Bolivar became president of the newly formed Bolivia.  Shortly after, Choquehuanca was elected deputy for the Azangaro Congress in 1826 and ten years later appointed senator of Puno.

 Very rarely does an object, like this notable Kero, of such historical significance and prestige become available for acquisition. As important as any Simon Bolivar object in any museum, this fascinating Kero is not only exquisite in design and execution but is also of monumental historical importance.

This particular kero is especially notable for its motif. The kero depicts four pumas and four warriors in relief. The iconography symbolizes the four regions of the Incan empire. The figure of the Puma was the totem of the primitive inhabitants of Azángaro and was also featured in the shield of the Choquehuanca family. It clearly indicates that the victorious Peruvian soldiers were supported by the Gods. The kero is also larger than normal and measures an impressive 6.25" high by 6.25" round.

 Keros were used as a vessel for the popular traditional drink Chicha (corn beer) which was consumed during important Inca ceremonies. Wood keros played an essential role in the maintenance of social and political relations beginning in the 15th century. Toasts were exchanged during ceremonial occasions and pairs of keros were specially made and given to provincial leaders as a sign of Inca generosity. Decorated with religious imagery and geometric motifs, this kero's abstract style, distortion of figures and dense ornamentation are characteristic of the ancient artistic style of the Incas.

 The Bolivar kero was fortunately treasured by Choquehuanca and handed down within the Choquehuanca family until it was sold to an American collector in the 1960s.  It is recorded and photographed in the book "Historia del Peru" Volume 3, written by Jorge Basarde and Jose Manuel Valaga, on page 265.  This major documented work of art, made for and used at one of the most important events in Latin American history, for the 'father" of South America, is a true rarity.

Objects commemorating Bolivar's achievements can be found throughout the world, primarily as monuments or portraits in major museums. An outstanding sculptural monument of Bolivar on horseback graces the Ile-de-France between Le Grand Palais and the Louvre Museum in Paris. Portraits of the South American hero can be found in major museums from Bogota to Spain. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has in its collection a number of medals and plaquettes memorializing Bolivar. While commemorative items abound, personal items, used by Bolivar, are exceptionally rare.

Circa 1825
6 ¼" wide x 7 1/8" deep x 6 ½" high

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Price: $128,500
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