San Juan Pueblo Polished Red Historic Pottery Jar with Dimpled Shoulder

C4213H-dimples.jpg

+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend


Pueblo Potter Unknown

At first glance, this child-sized jar might be identified as having originated at Santa Clara Pueblo based on the fluted rim and the depressions at the mid-body.  However, the tell-tale sign that it originated at the neighboring pueblo of San Juan (now known as Ohkay Owingeh) is the application of red slip only on the upper two-thirds of the vessel, leaving the area under the midpoint in the natural clay state, devoid of slip.  This is a tradition of San Juan typology.

This polished red-over-tan jar is from the late 19th-century and is a standard Tewa shape made by potters at all the northern Tewa villages—San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, San Juan, Nambe and Tesuque, however, the dimples on the midbody and the fluted rim are recognized traits from Santa Clara but the division line of slip on the upper and lower parts of the jar are San Juan traits.   The fluted rim is considered a trait of Santa Clara pottery, as well. What is missing is the traditional fire clouds that decorate San Juan pottery.

The exterior of the vessel was slipped in red clay and then stone-polished to a high luster. The remaining body of the jar was left in the natural clay body and stone polished.  The jar was then fired in a traditional outdoor firing process.

The shape of the jar is very pleasing. It flares out from the bottom to midway of the vessel body then gracefully curves inward before rising to a long and graceful neck that has a gentle concave shape and ends in a fluted rim.

This is an extraordinary jar that needs no written accolades to speak of its beauty. It stands alone on its own merits.  Whether is originated at Santa Clara or San Juan is unimportant. We have selected San Juan as the origin because we are not aware of any Santa Clara potters applying slip in the manner on this jar.


Condition: this San Juan Pueblo Polished Red Historic Pottery Jar with Dimpled Shoulder is in very good condition

Provenance: from the extensive collection of a family from Colorado

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

Note:  San Juan de los Caballeros, as it was christened by the Spaniards, or San Juan Pueblo has become Ohkay Owingeh (pronounced O-keh o-WEENG-eh) which translates to “Place of the Strong People.”  San Juan Pueblo is no more. The pueblo's tribal council restored the community's traditional name in September 2005. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson instructed all state agencies to refer to the pueblo by its new name. The new name is the traditional name for the village, used before the Spanish arrived 400 years ago. Their Feast day is June 23-24th honoring their patron St. John the Baptist.

Relative Links: Southwest Indian PotterySan Juan PuebloHistoric Pottery


Pueblo Potter Unknown
C4213H-dimples.jpgC4213H-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.