A Zuni polychrome olla

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Lot 4003
A Zuni polychrome olla
height 9 3/4in, diameter 12 1/4in

US$ 15,000 - 20,000
£ 11,000 - 15,000

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A Zuni polychrome olla
With pronounced upper and lower shoulders flanking the rounded sides, with raised tapering neck, painted with a hatchured band encircling the jar and creating a series of hooked X-forms, these alternate with elaborate converging triangle devices, with angular feather and other geometric accents, the rim worn down from use.
height 9 3/4in, diameter 12 1/4in

Footnotes

  • See Batkin, page 156, for A Polychrome Olla, Zuni Pueblo, circa 1870, with similar stylized wing designs. The Zuni olla illustrated in Batkin is in the collection of the Taylor Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    See Harlow, Two Hundred Years of Historic Pueblo Pottery: The Gallegos Collection, Plate 7, for A Polychrome Olla, Zuni Pueblo, circa 1900, which bears a strong resemblance to this olla.

    “Every detail of surface finish comes alive in the precise depiction of a Zuni jar that was fashioned with loving care for carrying water. Worn with use, the rim shows erosion that occurred as the jar sacrificed itself for the tasks at hand. The decorations of this jar range freely across the whole surface with no confinement into the neck and body bands. We see here the joyful use of cross hatchure. Great arms curve around the upper areas and end with angular hands that reach toward the sky, in a manner whose origins can be traced back to more than a century earlier. Between the arms there is a bold, triangular mountain, with an inverted triangle joined at its apex. The linear checkerboards contained in each have likewise deep roots in tradition. Here and there lie sacred feather symbols, identified by being the only design elements with red. There are interesting variations among these feathers; those that nestle in angular crooks have split bodies and wear a variety of caps; while those that are attached to the undersides of the arms have unsplit bodies, the classic style of a single black triangular cap, and an attached flag-like embellishment. Easily overlooked is the pair of little bumps at the highest crook between the arms. This feature occurs on so many examples of Pueblo Indian pottery that we know it must be important, but its significance is lost in the shadows of history to all but the artists.” -F.H.H.
A Zuni polychrome olla
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