MOJAVE RED ON BROWN
EFFIGY PITCHER circa 1890
This is a remarkable piece. When the Southern Pacific came across the Colorado River and through the Mojave reservation in 1883, the Mojave began making tourist pottery in European shapes, probably under the guidance of a local trader. For years before, however, the Colorado River Indians had made effigy dolls, and today these are the most valued early pieces. Here we have both. This is the only piece we've ever seen that puts one of those dolls on a tourist pitcher. The design and the surface speak to its age. Pieces made in the late 19th century had a dark brown color, probably the result of a partially smothered firing, but the style changed. From 1900 on, Mojave pottery was almost universally sandy tan in color with clearer red paint. This is an in-between color, indicative to us of a transitional time. We hesitate to call any of our pieces a true rarity, but if you want to find for another one of these, you'll have to look long and hard. This is on page 117 of our Second Edition of Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni.
3-3/4" diameter excluding handle x 6-1/2" high
Condition excellent for its age,
no restoration or touchup