Historic Zia Pueblo Nineteenth Century OLLA with Floral Designs, circa 1880s

C4119E-zia.jpg

+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend


Artist Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 9” height x 11-½” diameter
  • Item # C4119E
  • Price: $10,000.00

There are a number of features that can be used for identifying and dating pottery—paste, decoration, vessel form, rim color, pigments, and red banding on the underbody. Another factor that is useful is experience, which is what most of us rely on rather than the technical facts.

Zia Pueblo potters, like those from other pueblos, undertook changes in their wares to accommodate sales to outsiders.  Starting in the mid-1800s, we see changes creeping into traditional designs that, in some cases, were experimental, in an attempt to create a vessel with visual appeal to a non-pueblo resident.  Floral designs were successful adaptations that met with approval by buyers.

This jar has an exuberant floral pattern that certainly must have met with success.  It departed from the more traditional set patterns that were entrenched at the pueblo in favor of a more free expression by an individual potter.  The period from 1840 to 1930 was filled with such individual attempts at expression.

This historic jar, which dates to circa 1880s, is an excellent example of an exuberant floral pattern that is bold and expressive. The large black split leaf design is the first to attract one’s attention before being diverted to the lighter split leaf red designs which float freely around the bolder leaves.  

The adjacent design is equally bold with split-leaf elements outlined in red.  That design is attached to the lower framing lines that serve as the ground plane for the plant.  The Zia tradition of a continuous design from bottom to rim, without a change in pattern at the neck, was faithfully followed during this period and even later.

Potters must have enjoyed the freedom to express themselves in adapting to new designs.  Collectors certainly approved. This jar is one that must have had a strong appeal as it is a strong and bold design that commands attention.


Condition: this Historic Zia Pueblo Nineteenth Century OLLA with Floral Designs, circa 1880s is in very good condition

Provenance: from the collection of a gentleman from Albuquerque

Recommended Reading: The Pottery of Zia Pueblo by Harlow and Lanmon


Artist Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 9” height x 11-½” diameter
  • Item # C4119E
  • Price: $10,000.00

C4119E-zia.jpgC4119E-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.