Very Traditional Nineteenth Century Style Deep San Juan Pueblo Historic Pottery Serving Bowl


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Once Known Native American Potter

The Timeless Artistry of San Juan Pueblo Pottery:

A Glimpse into the Traditional Plainware Deep Bowl

Certain styles of historic pottery from San Juan Pueblo stand as timeless testaments to the enduring artistry of the Pueblo people. Among these, the plainware deep bowl is a classic example that encapsulates the essence of "traditional San Juan" in every meticulous detail.

Crafted from the traditional clay of San Juan Pueblo, this bowl is imbued with a small amount of mica, adding a subtle sparkle to its earthy texture. The natural clay was polished with stone, eschewing the application of a slip to the surface, save for the red slip adorning the exterior rim. This red slip, too, was polished with stone, enhancing its lustrous finish.

The vessel boasts a globular shape, with the exception of the neck area, which features a traditionally applied concave finish. This is where the red slip was applied, adding a touch of color to the otherwise earth-toned piece. The decoration, apart from the red slip, consists of faint fire clouds, a traditional embellishment technique at San Juan Pueblo.

This style of pottery remained unchanged until the 1930s when a new style was introduced to cater to an expanding outside market. Most vessels of this older style were crafted before this period. However, it is plausible that some of the older potters continued to create this traditional style as long as they were able, preserving the legacy of their craft.

Post the mid-1940s, examples of this style became rare, as the new style gained immense popularity among post-WWII tourists who began exploring the Southwest after years of war-induced confinement.

For collectors who cherish traditional historic pottery, this plainware deep bowl is a piece to consider. Likely hailing from the 1920s-1930s decades, it offers a tangible connection to the rich cultural heritage and timeless artistry of the San Juan Pueblo.

Note: Our use of "San Juan Pueblo" in lieu of "Ohkay Owingeh" is only related to pottery, not to the pueblo. It is our opinion that the pottery classification, i.e., San Juan Red-over-tan, is still the appropriate name for the classification of pottery. There is no offence meant by our use of the Spanish-installed name to the pueblo when referring to its pottery.

Condition: very good condition with some professional and non-professional rim repairs.  They are not obtrusive but could be improved if one wished to do so.  We will be happy to have that professionally done if requested.

Provenance: this Very Traditional Nineteenth Century Style Deep San Juan Pueblo Historic Pottery Serving Bowl is from a gentleman living in Santa Fe

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

TAGS: Southwest Indian PotterySan Juan PuebloHistoric Pottery

Once Known Native American Potter
C4393D-bowl.jpgC4393D-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.