Ohkay Owingeh Black on Grey Storage Jar

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Artist Unknown

Pottery making at Ohkay Owingeh - San Juan Pueblo almost died out around 1900 except for a few women who made pottery for their own use.  There was no market for these rather plain undecorated vessels.  It is believed that this jar dates to around 1900 or a little earlier.  The upper two-thirds of the jar was slipped with red clay and the lower one-third was left in the natural, un-slipped, tan clay of the full vessel that was stone polished without the addition of red slip.

The shape of the jar is very pleasing.  It flares out from the bottom to form a globular body that gracefully curves inward before rising to a short neck that has a gentle concave shape. The maximum diameter is at mid-point of the vessel. These early Ohkay Owingeh jars and bowls are some of the most beautiful vessels made by the northern pueblo potters.  Their simplicity of design highlights the vessel shape as the predominant visual factor.

The vessel was apparently used at the pueblo for several decades during which time the rim became chipped in several places.  To maintain the integrity of the jar, a leather strip was wrapped around the rim, wet when applied, and dried to a tight tension. 

 

Condition: this Ohkay Owingeh Black on Grey Storage Jar is in very good condition with native repairs

Recommended Reading:  Pottery of the Pueblos of New Mexico 1700-1940 by Jonathan Batkin

Provenance: from the collection of a Santa Fe family

To maintain the integrity of the jar, a leather strip was wrapped around the rim, wet when applied, and dried to a tight tension.

Artist Unknown
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