MOJAVE RED ON BUFF DOLL circa 1985
A quick look at this doll makes you think "Elmer Gates," and on page 143 of our The Desert Southwewt, Four Thousand Years of Life and Art, we said it was probably his. The more we look at it, the less sure we are. It doesn't seem to have the careful finish Elmer gave his pieces, and we're now thinking it might more likely have been made by Matt Brenner, who worked in Elmer's studio and copied his style. Elmer lived on a joint reservation near Parker, Arizona, away from the main Mojave population center at Needles, California, and made pottery that diverged a bit from the usual Mojave ware—better finished, not the usual coarse Needles clay and kiln-fired. This unsigned piece has Elmer's clay and firing, but it doesn't have his precise finish, leaving our guess with Matt Brenner and with no other alternatives. Whether it's Elmer or Matt, it's a nice Mojave doll at a good price.
2" wide x 1-5/8" deep x 7-1/4" high