Historic Zuni Pueblo Nineteenth Century Pottery Jar

C4686-zuni.jpg

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Pueblo Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo, SHE-WE-NA
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 6” tall x 6-1/4” diameter
  • Item # C4686A
  • Price: $2500

It is known that Zuni potters made an enormous quantity of pottery and apparently had an enormous amount available when Stevenson and Cushing visited in 1879. The two gentlemen collected more than 1,000 pieces for the collection of the Smithsonian. Stevenson returned to Zuni multiple times during the first half of the 1880s, during which visits he collected an additional 4,000 vessels. Matilda Coxe Stevenson collected additional examples on her visit in 1904. Other museums collected examples as well.

This exquisite jar has aspects from pottery of the 1850 to 1890 period-specifically the tall vertical neck. Not obvious in the photographs is that this is a polychrome jar. There is red pigment in the neck and shoulder designs, but its tone is somewhat muted, so it blends in quite smoothly with the black pigments. The unpolished interior neck is painted with black pigment, which is typical of Zuni jars from the 1850s period.

The crook designs that extend from the back-to-back triangles on the shoulder have been described by Zuni potters as drumsticks with curved heads, typical of those used for that purpose at Zuni because they result in a stronger sound from the drum.

The pedestal base that appears here is somewhat unusual for Zuni pottery. There are several bowls collected by Stevenson with such a pedestal or footed base, but I have not located a published jar with a pedestal base. It is quite likely that this was an influence from outside the pueblo. Whatever the inspiration might have been, the end result is a unique and beautiful example of historic Zuni pottery.


Condition: excellent condition, blacklight examination reveals no restoration or repair

Provenance: this Historic Zuni Pueblo Nineteenth Century Pottery Jar is from a private Santa Fe, New Mexico, collection

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

TAGS: potteryZuni Puebloold pottery

Alternate view of this pottey jar.

 

Pueblo Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo, SHE-WE-NA
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 6” tall x 6-1/4” diameter
  • Item # C4686A
  • Price: $2500

C4686-zuni.jpgC4686-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.