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Large Brown Over Tan San Ildefonso Jar [R]

C3963D-tse-pe.jpg

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Tse-Pé Gonzales (1940- 2000)
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigments, heishi, turquoise
  • Size: 10-¾” tall x 9-¼” diameter
  • Item # C3963D
  • Price No Longer Available

The jar is topped with a precisely fashioned stopper on which bands of white shell heishi, turquoise heishi and ground turquoise form a platform for a two-inch brown bear. The bear is a symbol of healing to many Southwestern tribes. Tse-Pé Gonzales was the son of Rose Gonzales. He married Dora Gachupin of Zia Pueblo and she moved to San Ildefonso. Dora brought her knowledge of Zia pottery construction with her to San Ildefonso. She and Tse-Pé studied with Rose learning not just the San Ildefonso style but also the style of San Juan Pueblo. Rose Gonzales was originally from San Juan Pueblo where a carving tradition existed. It is believed she brought the carving tradition to San Ildefonso. It could be said that Dora and Tse-Pé were blending three different pottery cultures.  They were among the first innovators at San Ildefonso, experimenting with green slip, micaceous slips and stone heishi inlay along with sgraffito carving techniques. The couple worked and collaborated with other San Ildefonso potters who were also experimenting with new ideas.

Tse-Pé, like other male potters of the 1970s, was not content to produce pottery in the style that was considered traditional or woman’s work at that time.  He rapidly developed a very contemporary style—mixing matte and polished surfaces on the same pottery, adding turquoise, using green slip for accent, and adding sienna to black wares.  These are what distinguish his pottery from traditional wares of the time.

Tse-Pé Gonzales (1940- 2000) signatureThis large brown-over-tan jar is a wonderful example of the innovation and stylistic experimentation for which Tse-Pé is known. The jar is perfectly constructed; solid and symmetrical. The underbody is covered in brown micaceous slip, above which a precisely carved and polished Avanyu swims through a sgraffito red band.  The Avanyu has a small turquoise heishi eye. In addition, a small masked face is carved above the Avanyu. The shoulder is slipped in the same brown micaceous slip and features two intricately carved sgraffito bear paws that frame a large piece of turquoise that is surrounded by white shell.

On the opposite side, two bears with heart lines are carved. The jar is topped with a precisely fashioned stopper on which bands of white shell heishi, turquoise heishi and ground turquoise form a platform for a two-inch brown bear. The bear is a symbol of healing to many Southwestern tribes.  This jar seems to suggest reverence and respect for the healing powers of the bear. The jar was made in the early 1970s during a time when artists were searching for means of individualistic expression. It is signed on the bottom with Tse-Pé’s signature.


Condition: The Large Brown Over Tan San Ildefonso Jar  is in pristine condition

Provenance: From the collection of a Santa Fe family.

Recommended Reading: Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery by Rick Dillingham

Close up view of the side panel - front of this vessel.

Tse-Pé Gonzales (1940- 2000)
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigments, heishi, turquoise
  • Size: 10-¾” tall x 9-¼” diameter
  • Item # C3963D
  • Price No Longer Available

C3963D-tse-pe.jpgC3963D-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.