Historic Red-over-Tan Jar from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo


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Pueblo Potter Unknown

This beautiful pottery jar was made in the late 1800s by an Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo potter. We are unable to identify her by name, but we commend her fine work with this piece. It was completed using the red-over-tan style that was practiced often by Ohkay Owingeh potters of the era. Those who are familiar with the style will likely recognize that this is an exemplary piece.

The vessel form falls somewhere in between that of an olla and that of a storage jar. At thirteen inches in width, it's wider than the typical functional olla. Remarkably, the potter managed to maintain the elegance of the more common forms while altering and expanding her own.

The jar's coloration is remarkable. There are no painted designs or intricate adornments of any kind, just polished red slip on the upper section and polished tan on the underside. The red tone is rich and rewarding; the tan is soft and appealing. The manner in which the two complement one another is what makes for such a strong visual impression, and the interplay is enhanced by smoky fire clouds.

The jar is beautifully patinated from years of handling and use. Abrasions and scratches appear on the exterior and interior, but fortunately, there are no cracks or structural issues of any kind. It's a soft and attractive wear pattern that suits the jar perfectly, shows its age, and enhances its inherent beauty immeasurably.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Historic Red-over-Tan Jar from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblois from a private collection

Recommended Reading: Batkin, Jonathan. Pottery of the Pueblos of New Mexico 1700-1940, The Taylor Museum of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 1987

TAGS: Southwest Indian PotterySan Juan PuebloHistoric Pottery

Alternate view of this old San Juan pottery jar.


Pueblo Potter Unknown
C4730-11-jar.jpgC4730-11-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.