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Hopi Sichomovi Polychrome Jar

C3321C-sichomovi.jpg

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Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigments
  • Size: 7-3/8” tall x 9-1/4” diameter
  • Item # C3321C
  • Price: $1,750.00

Southwest Indian Pottery | Historic | Hopi Pueblo | Unknown Potter | Hopi Sichomovi Polychrome Jar

This Hopi jar is documented as having come from the Zane Grey Collection.  Grey passed away in 1939 which provides us a relative early 20th-century date for the jar.  We know that at that time, Annie Healing was actively making pottery.  Annie was from the village of Hano at First Mesa.  She has been known to use white paint in her pottery designs.  Since this jar is listed as a Sichomovi Polychrome, it would be tempting to say that Zella Cheeda, a potter from Sichomovi, made it., but she is considered to have been active as a potter from around 1950 to 1980, so that does not fit the age period of the jar.  It is therefore not known who the potter was in the 1920s that made the jar.

 

Zane Grey's son, Dr. Loren Grey, in 1986, published a book on his famous father and his many adventures, called "Zane Grey: a Photographic Odyssey."  Mentioned in the book is Mildred Smith, long-time friend, companion, collaborator and research specialist, who travelled and worked with Grey for many years.

 

Mr. Grey enjoyed his family relationship and took his sons, relatives and friends with him on his various trips, as well as a camera crew, where they made close friends with various Indians.  Most of the Zane Grey collection was purchased by him or were gifts from his Indian friends.  Upon his death in 1939, he shared this rich collection with his family and friends.

 

Zane Grey's last residence was in Altadena, California, and he built a house nearby for his friend Mildred.  Both of these homes were filled with the collection that Grey, his wife Dolly and Mildred had accumulated in the nine years they spent in Arizona (1920-1929).

 

The story gets a little more convoluted now.  Mildred married Harry Johnson, a well-known artist at MGM Studios.  The couple's best friend, Herbert Ryman, was also working in the MGM Art Department.  Zane Grey and his wife Dolly, Mildred and her husband Harry, and Herbert Ryman remained close friends throughout this time.  Mildred inherited the collection from the Grey's and when she passed away, her husband, Harry, became custodian of it.

 

Mildred and Harry, marrying late in life, had no heirs.  They had agreed that upon their deaths the Zane Grey Collection should be left to their closest friend Herbert Ryman.  At the age of 77 years, Ryman, also having no heirs, chose to sell the collection.  It is in this manner that the Zane Grey Collection hit the market in the mid-1970s.

 

The jar is very traditional Hopi in shape and design.  The design is comprised of a stylized bird with its long curved beak as would be seen on an eagle.  Above the beginning of the curved beak is a triangle element representing the bird's eye.  The design was executed in black and white on a polished orange slip.  The interior of the jar is painted white.  There is a framing line at the rim restriction and another one near the base of the jar.  The rim is painted black.  It is quite likely that the jar dates to the 1920s, as that is the decade that the Grey's lived in Arizona.

 

Condition: very good condition

Provenance:

Zane Grey Collection

Mildred and Harry Johnson collection

Herbert Ryman collection

John Barry collection (most recently)

Recommended Reading:  Modern Hopi Pottery by S. Korski

This Hopi jar is documented as having come from the Zane Grey Collection.  Grey passed away in 1939 which provides us a relative early 20th-century date for the jar.  We know that at that time, Annie Healing was actively making pottery.  Annie was from the village of Hano at First Mesa.  She has been known to use white paint in her pottery designs.  Since this jar is listed as a Sichomovi Polychrome, it would be tempting to say that Zella Cheeda, a potter from Sichomovi, made it., but she is considered to have been active as a potter from around 1950 to 1980, so that does not fit the age period of the jar.  It is therefore not known who the potter was in the 1920s that made the jar.  Zane Grey’s son, Dr. Loren Grey, in 1986, published a book on his famous father and his many adventures, called “Zane Grey: a Photographic Odyssey.”  Mentioned in the book is Mildred Smith, long-time friend, companion, collaborator and research specialist, who travelled and worked with Grey for many years.  Mr. Grey enjoyed his family relationship and took his sons, relatives and friends with him on his various trips, as well as a camera crew, where they made close friends with various Indians.  Most of the Zane Grey collection was purchased by him or were gifts from his Indian friends.  Upon his death in 1939, he shared this rich collection with his family and friends.  Zane Grey’s last residence was in Altadena, California, and he built a house nearby for his friend Mildred.  Both of these homes were filled with the collection that Grey, his wife Dolly and Mildred had accumulated in the nine years they spent in Arizona (1920-1929).  The story gets a little more convoluted now.  Mildred married Harry Johnson, a well-known artist at MGM Studios.  The couple’s best friend, Herbert Ryman, was also working in the MGM Art Department.  Zane Grey and his wife Dolly, Mildred and her husband Harry, and Herbert Ryman remained close friends throughout this time.  Mildred inherited the collection from the Grey’s and when she passed away, her husband, Harry, became custodian of it.  Mildred and Harry, marrying late in life, had no heirs.  They had agreed that upon their deaths the Zane Grey Collection should be left to their closest friend Herbert Ryman.  At the age of 77 years, Ryman, also having no heirs, chose to sell the collection.  It is in this manner that the Zane Grey Collection hit the market in the mid-1970s.  The jar is very traditional Hopi in shape and design.  The design is comprised of a stylized bird with its long curved beak as would be seen on an eagle.  Above the beginning of the curved beak is a triangle element representing the bird’s eye.  The design was executed in black and white on a polished orange slip.  The interior of the jar is painted white.  There is a framing line at the rim restriction and another one near the base of the jar.  The rim is painted black.  It is quite likely that the jar dates to the 1920s, as that is the decade that the Grey’s lived in Arizona.  Condition: very good condition  Provenance: Zane Grey Collection Mildred and Harry Johnson collection Herbert Ryman collection John Barry collection (most recently)  Recommended Reading:  Modern Hopi Pottery by S. Korski

 

Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigments
  • Size: 7-3/8” tall x 9-1/4” diameter
  • Item # C3321C
  • Price: $1,750.00

C3321C-sichomovi.jpgC3321C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.