Santa Ana Pueblo Magnificent Historic Jar c.1830


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Potter Once Known

Santa Ana Pueblo Pottery: A Journey Through Time and Design

Potters at Santa Ana Pueblo have a distinct and recognizable pottery style that has existed for the past several hundred years. Its warmth of soft dark tan slip bathed with deep red designs is unmistakable as uniquely Santa Ana Pueblo pottery. This jar, dating from 1830, is typical in shape and design of pottery of the first half of the nineteenth century and continuing into the twentieth century.

The paste easily displays the standard temper of river-worn sand. Santa Ana‘s original pueblo was located near Zia Pueblo.  In 1687, Santa Ana was attacked and the village was burned. Eventually, the Santa Anas relocated their village in the eighteenth century on land bordering San Felipe Pueblo.  At their village near Zia Pueblo, potters had access to lava to crush for use as temper for pottery.  After their relocation, lava was no longer available, so they began using sand from the Rio Grande.

Also, there is an inventory number from an unidentified collection that appears on the bottom of the vessel in orange.A wide red band encircles the jar just below the dark tan slip. It is divided from the tan slip by a pair of relatively wide framing lines.  Another pair of framing lines appears at the top of the design.  Interestingly, the lower of the top framing lines, and the upper of the lower framing lines deviate from framing and continue to encircle the red design elements. This was an ingenious use of the framing lines. There is faint black paint remaining on the rim, and the interior of the neck is red. The jar has a concave base.  Also, there is an inventory number from an unidentified collection that appears on the bottom of the vessel in orange.

Obviously influenced by pottery from Zia Pueblo, the neck is designed with strong black arches reminiscent of those seen on Zia’s Trios Polychrome pottery. The deep red designs on the body are definitive of Santa Ana. This jar is larger in size than standard ollas.

Condition: this Santa Ana Pueblo Magnificent Historic Jar c.1830 appears to be in very good condition

Provenance: In 1989, It was sold at Sotheby’s in New York.  Presumably, the buyers were the ones who consigned it to Bonhams in San Francisco to be sold in 2016. The current owner purchased the jar at Bonhams.

Recommended Reading:

- Harlow, Francis H. Two Hundred years of Historic Pueblo Pottery: The Gallegos Collection, 1990

THE POTTERY OF SANTA ANA PUEBLO by Francis H. Harlow, et. al. Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe

Alterante view of this Santa Ana Pueblo Pottery Jar.

Potter Once Known
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