Rare Laguna Pueblo Polychrome Historic Pottery Bowl with Dual Layer Rim

C4444C-bowl.jpg

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Pueblo Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Laguna Pueblo, Ka'waika
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 4” high x 7” diameter
  • Item # C4444C
  • Price: $1,200.00

This circa 1920s-40s pottery bowl from Laguna Pueblo is the size and style that was being made for the tourist market. That is not meant to lessen the importance or beauty of the bowl, but to indicate what was going on at the pueblo at that time—that is, pottery of this size was being made to sell to travelers.  The design of the rim is an indication that appeal to a traveler was the intent.  The white peaks are a level thicker than the inverted orange triangles—a laborious process that would not be considered for a bowl to be used at the pueblo.

The design of the body is a series of panels containing black triangles, orange triangles and stems with berries. This pattern is repeated five times around the bowl. The body design is enclosed with a single framing line at the rim and a double framing line near the base.  The underbody is slipped with orange clay.

The market for pottery from Laguna Pueblo was originally the Spanish and Mexican population in the area.  With the arrival of the train near Laguna in the late 1870s, traders set up businesses near the pueblo providing cash for Laguna pottery.  This new market created a need for pottery dictated by the traders.  The Marmons were the traders at Laguna, and they provided needed goods to the people of the pueblo and an outlet for their pottery, a win-win situation.  The trader’s participation in pueblo village life became an interaction between them and the village people.

According to Rick Dillingham in his book Acoma & Laguna Pottery, “The Marmons were devout Protestants with an intense desire to remove all aspects of Laguna’s native religion, and their proselytizing efforts helped generate the religious split that divided the Lagunas into two factions: conservatives, who opposed the Marmons and their ideas, and progressives, who supported them.  The conservative faction finally left the pueblo, first establishing residence in the satellite village of Mesita.  The migrants later headed east toward Sandia, but en route were persuaded to stay at Isleta Pueblo, south of Albuquerque, where they settled in 1879. A side effect of this split was the export of the Laguna pottery style to Isleta.” [Dillingham; 1992:154].  The stem with berries is a design element seen in many small tourist items made at Isleta after the arrival of the Laguna potters.


Condition: excellent structural condition with very minor spalling and paint abrasions.

Provenance: this Rare Laguna Pueblo Polychrome Historic Pottery Bowl with Dual Layer Rim is from the collection of Susan McGreevy, former director of the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, and author of several books.

Reference: Dillingham, Rick. Acoma & Laguna Pottery

Relative Links: Acoma PuebloPueblo PotteryLaguna Pueblo, Ka'waika

Alternate view showing the rim area.

Pueblo Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Laguna Pueblo, Ka'waika
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 4” high x 7” diameter
  • Item # C4444C
  • Price: $1,200.00

C4444C-bowl.jpgC4444C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.