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Santa Clara Pueblo Traditional Black Sara Fina Style Jar [SOLD]

C3783F-santa-clara.jpg

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  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Medium: clay
  • Size: 10-1/2” height x 11” diameter
  • Item # C3783F
  • SOLD

Image Source: public domain. - The polished slip on a jar like this one develops a wear pattern from a couple ways.  Water standing in the jar seeps through the clay and cools the water through evaporation, eventually causing the slip to foliate.  Another way in which the slip wears away is through abrasion when a woman, holding the jar with her hand inside the neck, slides the jar in a water hole. The abrasion of the sand rubs the slip away.  This jar appears to have experienced both of those cases.  It is an excellent example of useable blackware jars.Many historic photographs illustrate clearly that water jars were made for use and not just for beauty.  Many famous photographers left us ample evidence of pueblo women at a watering hole filling up their jars for transport back to their homes.   This black jar is one of the few blackware items that illustrate that this style was just as functional as painted pottery from other pueblos.

Many collectors treat blackware as more fragile and think of it as having been made as a work of art for collectors, but such jars had a significant history of use before the 20th-century collector market materialized.  Blackware existed as a functional object long before it became a highly-polished art object.  This jar is a wonderful example of one that was made for, and used as, a water jar.

The polished slip on a jar like this one develops a wear pattern from a couple ways.  Water standing in the jar seeps through the clay and cools the water through evaporation, eventually causing the slip to foliate.  In other words, the clay is water resistant and not waterproof.  Another way in which the slip wears away is through abrasion when a woman, holding the jar with her hand inside the neck, slides the jar in a water hole. The abrasion of the sand rubs the slip away.  This jar appears to have experienced both of those cases.  It is an excellent example of useable blackware jars.

The jar is a style that could easily be attributed to Sara Fina Tafoya and the only reason we have not done so is because it is thicker walled than others of hers we have encountered.  That probably is not a sufficient reason but we have chosen to use caution in such an attribution.  The fluted rim and vertical ribs on the neck are items for which she has been known.


Condition: structurally in very good condition, some slip wear as described and a couple of rim chips.

Provenance: from the collection of a Santa Fe family.

Recommended Reading: Santa Clara Pottery Today by Betty LeFree

Image Source of Pueblo woman at the riverbank: public domain.

Condition: structurally in very good condition, some slip wear as described and a couple of rim chips.

  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Medium: clay
  • Size: 10-1/2” height x 11” diameter
  • Item # C3783F
  • SOLD

C3783F-santa-clara.jpgC3783F-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.