A very rare Pinedale black-on-white human effigy
Lot 5178
A very rare Pinedale black-on-white human effigy
Sold for US$ 15,000 inc. premium

Native American Art

3 Jun 2013, 12:00 PDT

San Francisco

Lot Details
A very rare Pinedale black-on-white human effigy
A very rare Pinedale black-on-white human effigy
Seated with arms crossed over the knees, with jutting chin, mouth tattoo and teardrop-shaped eyes, the reverse revealing his garments drawn in geometric decorative details, small areas of restoration.
height 9 1/4in, width 6in


  • The subject of this report is a Cibola White Ware, Pinedale Black-on-white human effigy vessel, ca. 1250-1350, that was recovered from the Bailey Ruin. The Bailey Ruin is located in east - north central Arizona in the Cibola Region of the Southwest. Located on the Aztec Ranch, it is between the modern towns of Heber and Pinedale. ln southwestern archaeological chronologies the site is one of a confederation in the Silver Creek district that transition from late Pueblo lll to Pueblo lV periods. Other Ancestral Pueblo villages in the Silver Creek district include Broken K, Pinedale, Pottery Hill, Showlow, Shumway, Tundastusa, and Four Mile, which is the largest of the pueblo ruins having at least 450 rooms.

    According to state and federal information on the site numbered AZ.P.11 :1, the Bailey site had at least 250 rooms and was occupied from 1250 to 1325. Local information places the room count for the site at over five hundred and extends the occupation to 1350.

    The Bailey Ruin was first identified as the Stott Ranch Ruin and described by Jessie Walter Fewkes in 1904. Other archaeologists have done limited excavations and testing at the site including Emil Haury and Lyndon Hargrave (1931). Haury named the site after the then owner Mr. George W. Bailey. Barbara Mills and colleagues returned to the site to do archaeology from 1993 to 1998 for the University of Arizona. Pottery Types recovered in these excavations are represented by Pinedale style Salado Polychromes represented by mostly Pinto Polychrome and possibly Gila Polychrome (crown 1994: pp. 79-82); White Mountain red wares including Pinedale Black-on-red and polychrome, and
    Cedar Creek Polychrome; and Pinedale Polychrome, the local Cibola white ware painted ceramic type. Local informants familiar with the site suggest that Four Mile Polychrome a white Mountain red ware (1300-1400) and Tonto Polychrome a Salado ceramic type (1350-1450) were also present. However, these types may date too late for the Bailey site occupation.

    Some amateur archaeology has occurred on the privately owned part of this ruin. It was during one of these excavations in 2003 that shards of a Pinedale Black-on-white human male effigy vessel were recovered from a room floor. The shards were cleaned and assembled to comprise approximately 85-90% of the original vessel. The missing portion of the effigy was then professionally restored. The black geometric design elements painted on the white surface of this piece are typical of the Pinedale Black-on-white style. The black paint has undergone a phenomenon known as stintering that results in a glossy glaze-like appearance to some areas. This sometimes occurs to iron-based paints that are fired in a reduction atmosphere.

    The male effigy measures 9 1/4 inches tall, 6 inches wide, 5 1/2 inches deep and is in a seated posture with knees drawn up to the chest and lower arms and hands wrapped about the knees. The figure is nude except for the painted representation of a blanket wrapped on his back and a cap; the genitalia are prominent. The head and facial features are modeled with a prominent nose, jutting chin and wide-set somewhat slanting eyes. The mouth is an open oval outlined in black with four vertical lines painted below the lower lip and above the chin. These lines may represent tattooing or facial paint. The indented eyes are also filled with black paint. The head covering is a black and white checked skullcap with a chinstrap that is similar in appearance to ones worn today by lndians in Peru. Other black paint on the body includes the clavicles, arms, hands, legs, and feet. The blanket painted on the back of the body extends from the neck to the level of the figure's ankles. The top of the blanket consists of five solid black, bold pendant triangles whose tips extend about one third of the way down the back to the level of the figure's elbows. The remaining textile is elaborated with fine-line horizontal bands with opposing short dash lines or ticking. In life both the skullcap and the blanket would have been made of woven cotton and similar patterning would have been likely.

    These canteen-like bottles were used to contain liquids and because of their rare form, they may have been reserved for ritual use. Thus the stored liquid may have been alcoholic or a type of medicine water that is still used in modern Pueblo rituals. Male and female human ceramic effigies were made by almost every prehistoric culture in the Southwest. Nevertheless, whole or restored white ware (black-on-white) human effigies are exceedingly rare vessel forms from the prehistoric Southwest. Seated male effigies of Mancos Black-on-white and Pinedale Black-on-white that are from the Ancestral Pueblo culture and are similar to the Bailey Ruin effigy have recently been exhibited (Townsend 2005: plates 64; 65.) A fragment of a Chaco Black-on-white head has also been published (Noble 1984: 15). Earl H. Morris (1928) found at least two restorable ones at Aztec Ruin (ca. A.D. 1100-1300). In addition, George H. Pepper (1920: 377) recovered fragments of human effigy vessels during excavations at Pueblo Bonito Ruin in Chaco Canyon that dates from roughly A.D. 1000-1150. The postures of whole or restorable vessels are often like this example - bent-legged with arms and hands folded across the knees. Painted designs often represent body paint or tattoos and clothing styles. The Bailey site male human effigy vessel fits nicely into the assemblage of prehistoric southwestern ceramic traditions.

    Charles Matthew Thomas, Conservator
    Archaeological & Museum Services


    Aldler, Michael A., ed., The Prehistoric Pueblo World, 1150-1350 AD, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1996

    Crown, Patricia L., and Bishop, Ronald L., Ceramics & Ideology: Salado Polychrome Pottery, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1994

    Fewkes, Jessie Walter, Two Summers' Work in Pueblo Ruins, in the Twenty-second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology for the years 1899 -1900, part l, pp. 3-195, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 1904

    Haury, Emil W., and Hargrave, Lyndon L., Recently Dated Pueblo Ruins in Arizona, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 82 (11), Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 1931

    Mills, Barbara J., Herr, Sarah A., and Van Keuren, Scott, Living on the Edge of the Ruin: Excavations and Analysis of the Silver Creek Archaeological Research Project, 1993-1998, Arizona State Museum Archaeological Series 192, Vol. 1, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 2001

    Mills, Barbara J., ed., Alternative Leadership Strategies in the Prehistoric Southwest, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 2000

    Noble, David Grant, ed., New Light on Chaco Canyon, School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, 1984

    Pepper, George H., Pueblo Bonito, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. XXVll, The American Museum of Natural History, New York, 1920

    Townsend, Richard F., ed., Casas Grandes and the Ceramic Art of the Ancient Southwest, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago and Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005
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