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Polychrome Laguna Jar with Birds and Plants


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Potter Unknown

The potter of this magnificent Laguna olla was indeed talented. She formed a beautifully shaped vessel and decorated it in a visually appealing, almost startling design. Her placement of the birds around the neck rather than on the body of the vessel is unusual and provides the individuality of her intent. The two-color leaning rectangles provide the boldness in the design. Her design could not have been better arranged. This is truly a magnificent pottery vessel.


If asked to justify identifying this jar as having originated at Laguna Pueblo rather than Acoma Pueblo, one only has to land one's eyes on several of the design elements. The berries associated with the floral elements are a tradition at Laguna, one that was taken with the potters when they migrated to Isleta Pueblo. Secondly, the tilting rectangular boxes and the sinusoidal elements both are frequently seen on Laguna pottery.


When one analyzes the construction technique and design aspects of this jar, one reaches the conclusion that it originated from Laguna. The walls are not as thin as traditional Acoma jars, the design is bolder than most from Acoma, and the berries or seedpods in the design are traditionally Laguna in origin.


Condition:  There is some very minor surface abrasion, as one would expect from a jar whose age is over 100 years and whose existence was for the purpose of use at the pueblo. The jar is extraordinarily beautiful and a perfect example of the masterful hands of an experienced potter.

Provenance:  from the collection of a Santa Fe resident.

Recommended Reading: Acoma & Laguna Pottery by Rick Dillingham



Potter Unknown
C2750E-pot-retake.jpgC2750E-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.