Vintage Batea with pre-Columbian Art from Panama

Item PAN35 


The price of this item is listed on the Panama Canal Plates web link. The price of this item will be reduced regularly until this item sells. Instructions for ordering can be found on the How to Order web page.

This vintage wooden plate is called a Batea in the country of Panama. It is made out of a light weight hardwood (Mahogany or Amargo Amargo) and decorated with pre-Columbian art depicting 4 mythological animals. The bodies of the animals resemble monkeys, but the faces look like sloths. There is a coat of varnish on both sides and a small eye hook on the back for hanging this Batea on the wall. There is a small plastic wood patch on the back surface near the eye hook, but no dings or cracks.

Diameter = 33 cm (13 in) ; Weight = 314 gm (11.1 oz)

The Batea is a wooden replica of pre-Columbian ceramic plates found in the Coclé Province of Western Panama. The first Bateas were made by Diana Chiari, a well known artist and teacher who started making the wooden plates in 1935.after an attempt to market replica ceramic plates failed because of the weight and delicate nature of the ceramic plates. Eventually, the Batea became one of the most sought after collectibles by tourists who visited Panama. The art form was also taught in the local schools and art centers. I remember taking a summer class for young children in the town of Balboa in 1957 and the first craft we did was to sand down a rough Batea and paint it by hand using a template. My patea didn't look nearly as good as the one in this listing. My mother was an artist in the Panama Canal Zone and she collected native crafts. This Batea hung in our home in the late 1950s or 1960s, so it is at least 50 years old.

Most of the plates that I sell are vintage. It should be expected that these items will have some sort of wear or patina unless listed as "mint". Flaws created during the manufacturing may not be mentioned as these are part of the character of vintage or antique items. These flaws may, however, be mentioned if they cause a structural defect affecting the items integrity. I do provide large photos of each item so that you can see the condition. Thank you for your interest in this item.



How to Order | Collectable Artifacts | Panama | Panama Canal Plates | Historical Artifact Prices | contact: Ted Bailey