Historic Santa Clara Black Child Size Jar with Dimples by Sara Fina Tafoya

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Sara Fina Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

This exquisite black jar from a potter of Santa Clara Pueblo dates to the late 1800s or early 1900s and is of a style attributed to Sara Fina Tafoya. Some of Sara Fina's pottery from this period was decorated with incisions into the clay or pressed indentations into the clay body. The jar is not signed, but we are making an attribution to Sara Fina because we believe it demonstrates her innovative approach.

The jar has a bulbous globular body that rolls over to a graceful neck that ends in a fluted rim. There are 11 depressions into the clay just below the beginning of the neck area. Such dimples likely were made with the potter's thumb into the moist clay.The dimples have been stated as representing rain. The fluted rim, also a marker of rain, is often associated with Sara Fina and Margaret Tafoya. The underside of the vessel is slightly indented.

There is a piece of masking tape on the underside stating "Old Santa Clara Candelaria 1865-1900". This is a reference to the Candelaria collection from his shop in Santa Fe during that period.

One of the most famous nineteenth-century Santa Clara Pueblo potters was Sara Fina Tafoya (circa 1863-1950) Autumn Leaf, mother of the equally influential Margaret Tafoya. Sara Fina was an exceptional potter from about 1880 to 1950, making large, magnificent pottery jars. Some were larger than three feet tall. Because she lived and worked into the first half of the twentieth century, her name is familiar to collectors today and her pottery is easily recognizable. One of her signature vessel shapes is the exaggerated-width water jar with dimples and a fluted rim.


Condition: a section of the rim has been repaired. It is not noticeable generally but is identified when looking closely (see below).

Provenance: this Historic Santa Clara Black Child Size Jar with Dimples by Sara Fina Tafoyafrom the collection of a client of the gallery

Recommended Reading: Born of Fire: The Pottery of Margaret Tafoya by Charles S. King

TAGS: Christina NaranjoSanta Clara PuebloMary CainPueblo PotteryMargaret TafoyaCamilio Tafoyautilitarian vesselsTammy GarciaLinda CainSara Fina Tafoya

Condition: a section of the rim has been repaired. It is not noticeable generally but is identified when looking closely.

Alternate view of this black jar.

Sara Fina Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
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