Modern Polished Blackware Candlestick Pair


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Once Known Native American Potter

An unknown San Ildefonso Pueblo potter made this amazing pair of polished blackware pottery candlesticks. The artist created an identical pair, with wide bases and twisted stems. The holes at the top measure about three quarters of an inch in diameter and about two inches in depth. These candlesticks look beautiful with or without candles.

What is most notable about these candlesticks is the polished exterior. The slip was treated with an intense stone polish process, resulting in the type of finish that is often referred to as "gunmetal." They are glassy and reflective, which is typical of polished blackware but elevated here to a notable intensity. It is remarkable that this type of visual impact can be created using only clay, and the candlestick form seems to work well with this particular slip treatment.

The underside of one candlestick is inscribed with a letter M. The other one displays the letter I. San Ildefonso potters with those initials were Isabel Atencio Montoya (b.1898), Isabel Peña Martinez (b.1881) and Isabel Torres Martinez (b.1810). This pair of candlesticks is likely not old enough to have been made by one of these potters.  We have stated they are from San Ildefonso based on a prior printed label on the underside identifying the source as San Ildefonso. 

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Modern Polished Blackware Candlestick Pair is from a private collection

Recommended Reading: Collections of Southwestern Pottery: Candlesticks to Canteens, Frogs to Figurines by Allan Hayes and John Blom

TAGS: Santa Clara PuebloPueblo Pottery

Once Known Native American Potter
C4721D-candllesticks.jpgC4721D-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.