An Acoma storage jar
Lot 4016
An Acoma storage jar
Sold for US$ 71,250 inc. premium

Lot Details
An Acoma storage jar
An Acoma storage jar
Remarkably light and thin-walled for such a large vessel, with wide expansive sides, high sharply rounded shoulder and tapering neck, painted with four opposing circular medallions, each worked in identical geometric fashion, alternating with checkered diamonds, sweeping triangular motifs above and below.
height 18 1/4in, diameter 19 1/4in

Footnotes

  • Ex-Zane Grey Collection. Ex-Morning Bird Collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ex-Dewey Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    See Batkin, Page 144, for A Polychrome Olla, Acoma Pueblo, circa 1890, which exhibits a less refined combination of fineline motifs and checkered diamonds. The Acoma olla illustrated in Batkin is in the collection of the Taylor Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    The fineline designs at work on this olla are meticulous and resemble the fineline motifs in prehistoric Mimbres pottery. See Brody, Scott, and LeBlanc, Plate 12, and Fig. 47, for illustrations of two Mimbres bowls with similar fineline design.

    “Immersed in the stark geometric severity of this jar’s designs are numerous traditional elements of great significance to the Acoma Indians’ mythology and religion. Each great circular sunburst has three dominant elements: a vertical zigzag of triangles that is especially characteristic of Acoma symbology circa 1900, a pair of double-ended hatchured figures whose origins can be traced to the eleventh century, and the black objects with lozenge eyes who stare ominously at each other. The nearly ubiquitous nineteenth-century Acoma checkerboard is the connecting element between circular structures. They are supported top and bottom by stepped pyramids enclosing hatchured triangles with 'rabbit ears.' Preservation of so many traditional design elements pays homage to the generations of ancestors who occupied the bleak mesa-top Acoma village through the six centuries before this jar was made. Battling the elements, the invading Europeans, and the transitions to modern times (with the nearby railroad in 1878), the hardy Native Americans bolstered their spirits by the tenacious adherence to sacred symbology and ceremonies. With endless artistry and inventiveness they adapted the traditional design elements of their pottery into each new style, shown by this fine example made nearly a century ago.” -F.H.H.
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