Acoma Pueblo Heartline Deer Design Jar by Lucy Lewis [SOLD]

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Lucy Martin Lewis, Acoma Pueblo Potter and Matriarch
  • Category: Modern
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo, Haak’u
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 3-¾” height x 5” diameter
  • Item # C4810B
  • SOLD

This Acoma Pueblo pottery jar was designed by Lucy Lewis with what is accepted as Zuni heartline deer—a traditional design on Zuni Polychrome pottery for over a hundred years. It has been stated that Lucy Lewis liked the design and asked Zuni leaders for permission to use it on her pottery. Apparently, she was granted permission to do so.

The vessel is thin walled, with a gentle shoulder, a small base, and a wide rim. It's a small piece, which makes the intricate nature of its designs and the precision with which they were executed quite impressive. The painted designs, which appear in the typical black pigment over white slip, are phenomenal. Four delightful deer appear, rising from the base with antlers almost touching the rim. The simplicity of placing only deer without other designs figures beautifully here, resulting in a strong reminder of why Lucy Lewis is so highly regarded.

The white slip covers the entire surface from rim to base excluding a very fine framing line just below the black rim. There is no lower framing line below the deer. Those who knew Lucy or at least are familiar with her pottery will recall that the use of heartline deer was one of her personal favorite designs and a favorite of many collectors.

Artisst signature of Lucy Martin Lewis (1898-1992) Acoma Pueblo, Haak’uThe bottom of the jar is signed Lucy M. Lewis.

Lucy Martin Lewis (1898-1992) was one of the most widely respected potters from Acoma Pueblo. Lewis followed pueblo tradition in every step of pottery production—offering prayers of thanks to Mother Earth for the clay, taking only as much clay as she needed, working the clay with only her hands, forming the vessel from coils of clay, scraping the walls with tools fashioned from gourds, painting the vessel with slips and paints made from clay and vegetal sources and, finally, firing the finished pieces in a handmade outdoor kiln. Lewis was born around 1898 and passed away on March 12, 1992. She spent nearly all her life atop the high mesa of Acoma Pueblo, making pottery from the age of 8. She is largely responsible for the revival of Mimbres Black-on-white pottery designs, which are more than 1,000 years old. She was famous, as well, for her exquisite polychrome designs and her fine-line and lightning designs.


Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Acoma Pueblo Heartline Deer Design Jar by Lucy Lewis is from the collection of our client to whom we sold this in 2017 and from whom we now have it back to sell again.

Recommended Reading: LUCY M. LEWIS American Indian Potter by Susan Peterson

TAGS: Acoma PuebloPueblo PotteryLucy Martin Lewis

Lucy Martin Lewis, Acoma Pueblo Potter and Matriarch
  • Category: Modern
  • Origin: Acoma Pueblo, Haak’u
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 3-¾” height x 5” diameter
  • Item # C4810B
  • SOLD

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