Zia Pueblo Exquisite Trinidad Medina Pottery OLLA [SOLD]

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Trinidad Gachupin Medina SRA'EITI', Zia Pueblo Potter
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 8-¾” height x 11” diameter
  • Item # C4213K
  • SOLD

Artist Signature - Trinidad Gachupin Medina (1883/1884-1969) SRA'EITI'

An absolutely magnificent and pristine signed pottery jar made by Trinidad Medina of Zia Pueblo is one of the finest of her works.  Very few of hers were signed in a fired-on manner but this one was. The signature is faint but discernible.

This is an excellent example of a jar by one of the most famous potters from Zia Pueblo. It is traditional in every sense of the word in that it was coil formed from native clay with the addition of crushed basaltic lava for temper.

The concave base was left in a matte state and the underbody slip was stone-polished as was the red slip on the double rainbow, red birds and stepped elements.  A narrow red band was applied to delineate the designed area from the polished red lower area. The design area was divided into four quadrants that cover the area from the polished red underbody to the rim.  Mirror image designs were placed on opposing sides.

The field on which the design was to be placed was covered in warm cream slip.  The primary design chosen was a single Zia bird protected under a double rainbow arch.  The bird stands on the lower framing line, has his head perched upward and displays fancy tail feathers.  In the protective house containing the bird is a pair of arched tipped feathers, a triangular rain cloud in the center, and a pair of eyes on the floor area.  

Adjacent to this main design is a smaller Zia bird in brown pigment and two red dots on its body.  The wings are filled with parallel fine lines. The bird appears to have just taken off in flight, with the legs not yet fully withdrawn.  His head is pointed toward the sky. Rain clouds share his protective cove, above which are four red stepped elements which outline four ceam stepped elements.  Dark brown arched clouds decorate the neck with red sun rays above. All around the rim is a series of brown dots.

Each of these design panels is repeated on the opposite side.  The rim is black. The artist’s name appears in the mid-section of the polished red lower body, signed Trinidad Medina, in cursive hand and fired on permanently.

“Trinidad Medina was a diminutive person, standing just over 4 feet tall according to grandchildren and others who knew her.  Nonetheless, she made some of the largest storage jars ever produced at Zia. They are also considered to be some of the finest. She received prizes and widespread recognition for her work, in part because the trader Wick Miller took her on road tours around the United States between 1930 and 1946.  She demonstrated pottery making at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1933 and possibly also at the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exhibition in 1939, where a least one of her large storage jars was shown.”  (Harlow & Lanmon, 2003:285)


Condition: this Zia Pueblo Exquisite Trinidad Medina Pottery OLLA is in excellent original condition

Provenance: from an extensive pottery collection of a Colorado resident

Reference: Harlow, Francis H. and Dwight P. Lanmon.  The Pottery of Zia Pueblo, SAR Press, Santa Fe.

Relative Links: Reyes Gachupin Moquino/PinoRafael MedinaJosé del La Cruz MedinaZia PuebloHistoric Pueblo PotteryTrinidad Medina

Alternate side panel view.


Trinidad Gachupin Medina SRA'EITI', Zia Pueblo Potter
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Zia Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 8-¾” height x 11” diameter
  • Item # C4213K
  • SOLD

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