Early California Antiques Shop

Monkey with his own Bottle - Chango Mezcalero c 1930s M2749

Regular price $250.00

Marked "Recuerdo de Oaxaca". Measures 9 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 4".

From an article by collector and pulque expert Alvin Starkman: " For a half century if not longer, the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca has been known in the US and further abroad for its high alcohol content, agave based spirit, mezcal...

Chango mezcalero is a clay receptacle in the shape of a monkey, generally a liter in size or smaller.  Traditionally, and arguably dating back to the mid-1800s, it was used as a bottle to market and sell mezcal. It was a natural, since the primate has been associated with drunkenness for eons. In the second of three articles authored by the writer, its history was dated to the 1930s based on uncovering a chango mold dated July 12, 1938, owned by the late Juventino Nieto of the Oaxacan town of San Bartolo Coyotepec.  In a cardboard box alongside it was a somewhat larger undated chango mold of the same vintage. Don Juventino was the husband of the late Doña Rosa Real of black pottery fame.  However, an alternate theory of the inventor of the chango, from the same village, has been put forward by members of his family.

Many of the old chango mezcaleros found today have written on the back, Recuerdo de Oaxaca (souvenir of Oaxaca), some have a couple’s first names on one side or the other (celebrating their marriage), and most but not all are multi-color, painted with the gloss in various stages of decline."


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