A Santo Domingo polychrome storage jar
Lot 4029
A Santo Domingo polychrome storage jar
Sold for US$ 21,510 inc. premium
Auction Details
A Santo Domingo polychrome storage jar
Lot Details
A Santo Domingo polychrome storage jar
With high shoulder, tapering neck and small raised rim, painted with an allover pattern of blossoms and leaves on a scrolling vine, the blossoms alternating in color, leaf forms surround the base in similar contrasting fashion, banding lines below, a thick black painted rim at top.
height 17in, diameter 20in


  • Ex-Private Collection, New York, New York.

    See Harlow, Two Hundred Years of Historic Pueblo Pottery: The Gallegos Collection, Plate 65, for another large Santo Domingo olla featuring floral designs. The floral designs at work on this olla are more typical of either Acoma Pueblo or Zia Pueblo than they are of Santo Domingo Pueblo, but the white slip and wide base identify this olla as being Santo Domingo Pueblo. The possibility exists that this olla was painted by an artist from Acoma Pueblo who married into a Santo Domingo family and felt compelled to apply design traditions from both Pueblos.

    “The Pueblo of Santo Domingo is situated close to the Rio Grande, between the modern cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Since the middle 1700’s the decorations on their pottery have consisted of starkly bold geometric figures painted with a black pigment made from the boiled juice of the Rocky Mountain bee plant. The watery light-brown juice soaks into the slip, and chars to a dense, permanent black color when the vessel is hardened in a fire. Shortly after 1900, the formal and static decorative style began to soften into more flowing patterns that incorporate foliage with stems, leaves, and flowers like those developed earlier at the villages of Acoma, Laguna, and Zia. Red pigments, made from fine red clay, had previously been allowed at Santo Domingo only as an encircling band on the unslipped base, just bellow the design area. But with the new freedom for design structure also came the use of red in the designs themselves, as in parts of the flowers and leaves of this fine example.” -F.H.H.
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