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Polychrome Zia Pueblo Olla with Birds and Plants


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Potter Unknown

This is an exceptional olla that dates to the early 20th century. It is coil formed from native clay with the addition of crushed basaltic lava as a tempering agent. The concave base and underbody are stone polished red slip.


The design field, which is undivided, is a very traditional Zia scene on a creamy background, but executed in exceptional fine craftsmanship. The design was executed in dark brown paint and a rich deep red paint. The birds and leaves of the plants are outlined in brown, but the flowers were left without outlines. The simplicity and uncluttered look of the design is the key to this striking piece.


The rim is painted brown as are the clouds suspended from the rim. A very subtle ceremonial break appears in the cloud design. The pair of framing lines below the decorated area contains a ceremonial break.


The pottery jar is in very good condition. There is evidence on the interior of the jar of its having been used as a water jar, but there is no damage either inside or outside as a result of this. There are some minor abrasions to the painted surface, but not more than would be expected in a jar of this age and use.


Provenance: This polychrome Zia Olla with birds and plants was part of the exhibit CODY, WYOMING POTTERY COLLECTION June 10, 2006 until September 10, 2006 presented at adobe gallery Santa fe.

close up view

Potter Unknown
24720-retake.jpg24720-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.