Margaret Tafoya Very Large Globular Black Polished Carved Pottery Jar [R]


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Pottery Matriarch

This is an extraordinary stone-polished black carved jar by Margaret Tafoya of Santa Clara Pueblo. This magnificent early pieceprobably from the 1960swas coil formed in native clay, over which a red slip was applied. The vessel was then painstakingly burnished with a polishing stone and fired in a reduction firing, resulting in a beautiful black finish.

A single carved design band circles the vessel’s upper portion, beginning just above the jar’s widest point and reaching up to a few inches below the rim. Various geometric elements appear, forming what might look to some like an abstracted Avanyu. The individual elements and the composition in its entirety are expanded to suit the size of the vessel, rather than augmented with additional elementsa wise choice made by a potter of incredible skill and confidence.

Signature of Margaret Tafoya (1904 - 2001) Maria Margarita Tafoya - Corn BlossomIt has an extremely fine burnish and a beautiful black tone. The jar is globular, with the exception of the rim, which curves upward slightly. By any measure, this is a superb example of Margaret Tafoya's carved pottery.

It is signed on the underside “Margaret Tafoya Santa Clara Pue.”

Margaret Tafoya (1904 - 2001) Maria Margarita Tafoya - Corn Blossom was considered a master of the art of Santa Clara Pueblo pottery making. She made deeply carved blackware and redware vessels which are highly valued by collectors. She was the last of the matriarchs of the early 20th century pueblo potters, and well-known for her polished blackware pottery with bear paw designsa good luck symbol. Tafoya was born August 13, 1904 at Santa Clara Pueblo, Margaret learned her skills from her parents, Sara Fina Gutierrez Tafoya and Jose Geronimo Tafoya, who were expert potters; some of her pieces are inspired by tales she heard from her parents and grandparents. Margaret and her mother were known for their ability to make unusually large storage jars and water jars. Her works are included in major museum collections around the world, and she is generally regarded as one of the most influential and important pueblo potters.

Condition: Structurally in excellent condition. There was one small burnish mark on the mid-body, measuring about one-inch diameter, which has been professionally restored.

Provenance: from a private collection

Recommended Reading: Born of Fire: The Pottery of Margaret Tafoya by Charles King.  

TAGS: Margaret TafoyaSanta Clara PuebloTeresita NaranjoSouthwest Indian Pottery

Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Pottery Matriarch
C4713-tafoya.jpgC4713-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.