Zia Pueblo Historic Storage Jar with Bird Designs [SOLD]

C4331M-storage.jpg

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Pueblo Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 10-1/4" height x 15-1/8" diameter
  • Item # C4331M
  • SOLD

This outstanding historic Zia Pueblo polychrome storage jar most likely dates to around 1910. The high shoulder seen here is typical of pieces created after 1900. The vessel’s underbody was stone-polished, and a traditional red band was added to the top of the underbody. This red band does not appear on pots created after 1930.  Harlow and Lanmon’s The Pottery of Zia Pueblo provides interesting information about this red band: “An invariable feature of Zia pottery vessels from about 1650 to about 1930 is a red band that separates the cream-colored slipped surface from the unslipped underbody of a vessel; after 1930, a separate red band is no longer used. The pigment used to produce this band is a naturally occuring material containing iron oxide and applied (painted on) as a slip. It is typically the same color and probably the same material that is used to produce red decorations. It may (and usually does) take on a different appearance when it is painted on the reddish paste of the vessel, compared to that on cream-colored slip.” (Harlow and Lanmon, 2003, 22-23)

The piece is constructed of basaltic black lava as paste-temper, with the traditional polished red-necked interior and a black rim. Ceremonial breaks in the framing lines are noticeably absent. The design elements are faithful to the traditionally conservative Zia design system, which itself remains relatively unchanged by the influence of Western ideas.  The primary design motif employed in this jar is the Zia bird. Some have suggested this bird to be a roadrunner, but Zia potters refer to it only as the “Zia bird.”

These Zia birds have black heads and long legs, choices which are associated with designs used after the late 1800s. Each bird has dual split tail feathers and a single visible wing.  Thin lines protruding from their heads represent feathers. Each bird is placed within a protective rainbow. Outside of these rainbows, filling the gaps beautifully, are three black-on-white design panels featuring massive butterfly designs. The impact of these excellent designs is heightened by the vessel’s beautifully glossy patina. This jar, with its depth and nuance, is a masterful example of early twentieth century Zia Pueblo pottery.


Condition: this Zia Pueblo Historic Storage Jar with Bird Designs is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the estate of a former client

Reference and Recommended Reading: The Pottery of Zia Pueblo by Harlow and Lanmon

Relative Links: Zia Pueblohistoric period

Pueblo Potter Unknown
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 10-1/4" height x 15-1/8" diameter
  • Item # C4331M
  • SOLD

C4331M-storage.jpgC4331M-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.