Does anyone know the origin of this red clay bird Ocarina?
It has six holes. Perhaps the artwork and design are familiar!
I don't know, but it is a lovely piece of folk art. When I was very small my grandfather had one and we thought it was from Mexico. It was not shaped like a bird. Because of the color and shape we called it a sweet potato.
It is lovely, simple but beautiful. I did wonder if it was Peruvian. The design seems quite ethnic, Mexico might fit in with the design. It does have a makers mark.
My Grandpa did spend a couple of years in Brazil when he was a young man.
Ocarinas appear to date back about 12,000 years. It's first use as a 6-hole, globe shaped instrument is believed to be in China. The Maya, Inca, and Aztecs also developed this instrument, also with 6 holes, though theirs were often shaped like birds and other animals.
There are hundreds of designs which are also very collectible. The design does appear to be quite Aztec. I wish I had thought of asking the person who sold it to me at a car boot if he knew its origin. He had a European accent.
You said there's a maker's Mark. Maybe you research that or take the piece to a local antique shop/collector/museum who might be able to point in the right direction.
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