An Ako polychrome olla
Lot 4002
An Ako polychrome olla
Sold for US$ 221,750 inc. premium
Auction Details
An Ako polychrome olla
Lot Details
An Ako polychrome olla
With flaring underbody, low rounded shoulder, domed top and slight raised rim, painted above the midsection with a panel pattern of repeated stylized angular parrot motifs, rendered in a composition of sharply angular geometric forms, two of the birds flanked by parallel zigzag bands, the other pair with Y-form feathered projections, minor restoration.
height 11 in, diameter 12 3/4in

Footnotes

  • Ex-Martha Struever Collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    See Batkin, page 131, for A Polychrome Olla, Ako Culture, circa 1700, featuring similar stylized parrot and wing designs. The Ako olla illustrated in Batkin is in the collection of the Taylor Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    See Frank and Harlow, page 125, Fig. 120, for two Polychrome Ollas, Ako Culture, circa 1730, both featuring stylized bird and wing designs. Both of the Ako ollas illustrated in Frank and Harlow are in the collection of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, New Mexico (#2999/12 and #3482/12, respectively.)

    “The war between the Pueblo Indians and the Spanish settlers ended in 1694, but hard feelings persisted for decades thereafter. Nevertheless, the art of pottery making continued to flourish at many of the native villages, as demonstrated by this superb jar from Acoma Pueblo. The form of this jar is very characteristic of the style developed at Acoma at about 1700. Of particular significance is the narrow underbody, and the widely flaring mushroom-like body is likewise distinctive for this period. The birds’ heads on this jar, identified by a square eye with a distinct pupil, are connected to triplets of tail feathers by angular red bands. In one case the feathers are side by side; in the other they lie along an oblique line. Both are very typical for the feather symbols of the 1700’s. The construction and materials for decoration of this outstanding example demonstrate several post-war modifications from earlier Acoma pottery. In particular, the previous convex base has been changed to concave (for stability in sitting on a flat surface or carrying on the head), and the type of paint for the black design lines has changed from an emulsion of lead oxide, which melts during firing, to a finely-powdered black mineral that does not melt. It is very fortunate that a few have survived into this new millennium for everyone, both Indians and non-Indians, to treasure for their beauty and for symbol of the struggles of the Pueblo Indians to survive in times of great turmoil." -F.H.H.
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