Historic Aguilar Sisters Black-on-Cream Water Jar

C4642-24-aguilar.jpg

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Felipita Aguilar Garcia and Asuncion Aguilar Caté, Santo Domingo Pueblo Potters
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: KEWA, Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigments
  • Size: 9-⅞” height x 9-½” diameter
  • Item # C4642.24
  • Price: $5500

This beautiful jar was made by Felipita Aguilar Garcia and Asuncion Aguilar Caté, the Kewa Pueblo duo who are better known as the Aguilar Sisters. With the encouragement of trader Julius Seligman, the Aguilar sisters created styles of polychrome pottery that were unlike anything else produced during their era. This piece comes from earlier in their career, when they created pieces in the traditional black-on-cream style. The vessel shape and the manner in which the designs are arranged allow us to identify the jar as an Aguilar sisters creation.

The wonderful vessel shape, which somehow appears tall and thin despite having similar height and diameter measurements, is a distinctive characteristic of the Aguilar sisters' work. The jar's shoulder is gently rounded, leading inward to a tall neck and flared rim. Three design bands appear where there would usually be two, forming traditional designs in the particularly bold pigments that are associated with the Aguilar sisters. A ceremonial break divides all three bands and each cluster of framing lines. This is a wonderful example of the Aguilar sisters' unique ability to create stylish, modern-looking pieces that still fit within the boundaries of traditional Santo Domingo pottery.

Felipita Aguilar Garcia and Asuncion Aguilar Caté (ca.1880 - 1925) were sisters who worked together to create some of the finest Kewa Pueblo pottery. In the early twentieth century, the Aguilar sisters developed innovative and beautiful pottery styles that have become highly collectible in the years since their passing. We are not sure exactly when the Aguilar sisters' careers ended. An unpublished text by Francis Harlow and Dwight Lanmon includes a handful of pieces by the Aguilar sisters, most of which are reported to date to 1910-1915. Chapman (p.152) states that two Black-and-red jars are known to have been made by one potter as late as 1920. He does not state the name of the potter, however. Douglas states that the two sisters passed away around 1915. Batkin (p.99) states that "evidence suggests that Felipita Garcia continued her style as late as 1920 to 1930; she also made traditional polychrome and Black-on-red vessels, all of them beautifully executed."


Condition: excellent condition, no restoration or repair

Provenance: this Historic Aguilar Sisters Black-on-Cream Water Jar is from a private Colorado collection

References:

- Chapman, Kenneth M. The Pottery of Santo Domingo Pueblo: A Detailed Study of its Decoration. Memoirs of the Laboratory of Anthropology, Volume 1, Santa Fe. 1936.

- Douglas, Frederick H. Santo Domingo Pottery of the "Aguilar" Type, Clearing House for Southwestern Museums, Denver Art Museum, Newsletter No. 37, June 1941.

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

TAGS: Santo Domingo PueblopotteryFelipita Aguilar GarciaAsunción Aguilar Caté

Alternate view of this water jar.

Felipita Aguilar Garcia and Asuncion Aguilar Caté, Santo Domingo Pueblo Potters
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: KEWA, Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigments
  • Size: 9-⅞” height x 9-½” diameter
  • Item # C4642.24
  • Price: $5500

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