Rare Historic Kewa Pueblo Small Lidded Jar with Floral Design


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Artist Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Kewa - Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 6-¾” height x 7” diameter
  • Item # C4068i
  • Price: $2,250.00

It's rare to see any Pueblo pottery with a lid - and that the lid is still with the original vessel and it's intact.

Potters at Santo Domingo Pueblo (now known as Kewa Pueblo), in the early 20th century, particularly in the 1920s, were busily making pottery to sell to tourists.  There was a trading post in Domingo, near pueblo land immediately next to the railroad tracks and adjacent to Route 66 highway. There had been an older trading post that dated to 1880, but this new one, built in 1922, by Julius Seligman, was a popular tourist stop.   The Seligmans were also merchants in Bernalillo, New Mexico, and in Santa Fe.  Julius Seligman was involved in revival of pottery at Santo Domingo Pueblo around 1910, which led to opening of the trading post at Domingo.

In the early decade, Seligman was purchasing traditional pottery of the shapes and sizes used in pueblo households, but later it was realized that smaller more manageable sizes were preferred by travelers as they were easier to transport back home.

This strikingly beautiful small jar is typical of the size popular with tourists.  It has strong dark red floral designs outlined in wide bold black. The contrast of the flowers against the cream colored background is striking.  There is a wide red band below the design area. The rim is black and the interior of the neck is red.

The most unusual aspect of this jar is that it has a lid, shaped like a shallow bowl, that rests comfortably on the jar.  The lid is decorated with flowers on the top and bottom. There is a handle in the top center. The black outlining of the leaves on the lid correspond to the black outlining on the flowers on the jar, an indication that this is the original lid for the jar.  Very few jars today still have lids, if they ever did.

Condition: this Historic Kewa Pueblo Small Lidded Jar with Floral Design is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the extensive collection of pottery of a Colorado family

Recommended Reading: The Native American Curio Trade in New Mexico by Jonathan Batkin

Close up view of side panel design.