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Small Exquisite Polychrome Traditional Olla

C3926G-zuni.jpg

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  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 4” height x 6” diameter
  • Item # C3926G
  • Price: $3,700.00

Alternate View of side panel design.

When one sees a photograph of a jar such as this one, it appears to be a magnificent large Zuni jar with an amazing amount of design.  In reality, it is a small magnificent jar with amazing designs.  The potter spared no effort in making and painting this jar.  As for construction, it is exactly like a larger one—concave underbody, slight puki impression, dark brown base, rounded body curving in at the shoulder to a beautifully curved neck, which is topped by a brown rim with the brown pigment extending down inside the neck.

The design deserves special attention.  The neck was divided into five rectangular blocks.  Each block was then divided into two triangles and each triangle contains a red triangle outlined in brown and what appears as a cactus pad.  The neck design is encompassed with framing lines at top and bottom.  Below the lower framing line is a wide brown band resting on the shoulder.

The body design is unique and not a repetition of so many Zuni jars of the period.  The potter took exceptional care to create a stunning and unique design.  There are four repetitions of the body design, each centered on a star that is backed by a cross element.  Two of the crosses are white with brown outlining and the other two are white filled with parallel fine lines.  The center of each star is filled with cross hatching. Between adjacent stars are complicated designs that merge together as four triangles.  The upper half mirrors the lower half.  The left mirrors the right.  In each half of the top and bottom mirrored sections are red triangles outlined in brown and backed with white.  The pair of triangles on the sides also mirrors each other and are fine lines outlined in brown.  The body design is framed by a pair of thin lines at the top and bottom.

One must admire a potter, of a hundred years ago, who took such special care to produce such a beautiful jar for which she probably only received a dollar or two. Price was obviously not on her mind.  Producing a jar of the finest quality she could was her driving force.  She must have been proud of her effort when someone chose to purchase it from her.  A hundred years later, we can be proud of her too.

Condition:  very good condition with expected wear pattern

Provenance: this Small Exquisite Polychrome Traditional Olla is from a gentleman who provided us with the other two small Zuni jars shown as Related Items below (our item #C3924R, and #C3926E).

Recommended Reading: The Pottery of Zuni Pueblo by Harlow and Lanmon

Alternate View of side panel design.

  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 4” height x 6” diameter
  • Item # C3926G
  • Price: $3,700.00

C3926G-zuni.jpgC3926G-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.