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Acoma Pueblo Circa 1940s Polychrome Olla


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  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 8” height x 9-5/8” diameter
  • Item # C4024
  • Price: $1,350.00

Every handmade pottery jar has its own charm and idiosyncrasies.  Some teach us a lesson.  The lesson learned from this jar is that a potter cannot erase a painted line once applied.  This potter first drew a step-line and then realized that it needed to be about an inch from where she drew it, so she attempted to erase it, but the telltale sign of her first attempt remains.  Such a change of plans by a potter does not ruin a finished jar but reminds us that each one is handmade without use of any mechanical drawing instruments or computer programs.  It is amazing that we see fewer of these changes of plans by potters.  That reinforces our admiration for the talent they possess.

The design layout on this jar started with dividing the design areaa into three bands—a band on the shoulder; a main body band, and an undecorated band near the base.  The neck area was divided into four quadrants that should have been approximately the same in area, however, one of the four is smaller than the other three.  The potter miscalculated in painting those areas.  The shorter one was obviously the last one.

The main body was divided more accurately to have panels of the same area.  Each panel has a design in black of an arrowhead shape, surrounded by orange triangles and a white quarter circle.

The third area—the lower portion of the jar—was left undecorated in traditional pueblo fashion.  Only an orange slip was applied.  The underside is concave, as is traditional on water jars.

This is a very attractive jar and one that we believe dates to the 1940s.  It was not signed with the name of the potter or the name of the pueblo.

Condition: very good condition structurally with some abrasions to the midbody design in one section that appears to have overheated during the firing process.

Provenance: this Acoma Pueblo Circa 1940s Polychrome Olla is from a resident of Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Recommended Reading: Acoma & Laguna Pottery by Rick Dillingham

Close up  view of side panel design.

  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 8” height x 9-5/8” diameter
  • Item # C4024
  • Price: $1,350.00

C4024-jar.jpgC4024-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.