FRANCES MONTANA (?–?)
TOHONO O'ODHAM POLYCHROME E-E TOY JAR 1932
This remarkably large, firmly attributed piece belongs to an early side-chapter in O'odham pottery. The 1962 Papago Indian Pottery by Bernard Fonana and others is the only book we've found so far devoted exclusively to O'odham pottery. It describes pottery known as e-e toys and tells us that the Montaña family had been making them for "four or five generations"—a description that takes them well back into the nineteenth century. These came in two forms, all with this distinctive face and chin: as on bowls like this or on standing figures. This one came with a hard attributionin a brittle 80-year-old tag from the Arizona State fair, naming the source as James and Goldie Richmond, Arizona's preeminent Indian art dealers of the time, and naming Frances Montaña as the artist. This sits with other Montaña e-e toys on pages 157 and 158 of our The Desert Southwest, Four Thousand Years of Life and Art and on page 135 of the Second Edition of our Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni.
9-1/2" diameter x 7-1/2" high
Condition excellent for its age
Montaña e-e toys 1890–1940