Zia Pueblo Historic Polychrome Pottery Storage Jar with Avian Designs


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Pueblo Potter Unknown

This fantastic historic Zia Pueblo pottery storage jar will appeal to collectors who appreciate subtle but creative designs. The painted designs consist of black-capped feathers in groups of three—a motif which has been used frequently since the 1700s—and four traditional Zia birds, which are equally spaced around the mid-body. Note the two different style of birds—one pair is skinnier with long legs, the second pair is larger with shorter legs.  The skinny, long-legged birds are out in the open, the wider birds are enclosed within circles. These circles are surrounded by wider red bands, from which additional groups of feather designs emerge. Feather designs emerge from the lower framing line, curving gently alongside the bottom half of the circular designs. The jar’s greatest strength is the effortless, rhythmic manner in which its designs flow around and into one another.

A black rim, double framing lines below the decorated area, and a red underbody complete the essential elements of this jar’s design.  Its shape—similar to that of a Zia water jar, but expanded—is exceptional. It’s very balanced and even, which cannot always be said of pieces this large.  The jar dates to the 1930s, and shows evidence on its exterior of use at the pueblo. Strong fire clouds are present on its red underbody, and a few small fire clouds are visible on the main design band.  Everything about this jar feels smooth, natural, and effortless, which is most impressive when one considers how difficult it actually is to produce a piece like this. This is a classic example of a Zia Pueblo storage jar.  We encourage our readers to to take a moment to appreciate its subtle, graceful beauty.

Condition: very good condition with an exterior that shows wear from use

Provenance: this Zia Pueblo Historic Polychrome Pottery Storage Jar with Avian Designs is from a private New Mexico collection

Reference: Harlow, Francis H. and Dwight P. Lanmon. The Pottery of Zia Pueblo

Relative Links: Southwest Indian PotteryZia PuebloHistoric Pottery

Alternate View of this jar and the side panel designs.


Pueblo Potter Unknown
23209-zia2.jpg23209-large2.jpg Click on image to view larger.