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TOMASITA MONTOYA (1899–1978)

OHKAY OWINGE JAR circa 1965


Tomasita Montoya was one of seven potters who, in the 1930s, created the incised and later carved San Juan Revival style that dominated Ohkay pottery through the last two-thirds of the 20th century, and of those seven, remained the most prolific. This was just the second Ohkay piece that we ever bought. (Our first was an undistinguished redware basket). Hundreds of pieces later, we still find this a bit special. We put it on page 125 of the First Edition of our  Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni and again on page 129 of the Second Edition. Tomasita did this later in her life, and it lacks some of the refinement of her earlier pieces, but it has an exuberant design that sets it apart and features her special trick of carving so deep that it challenges the thinness of the walls. She may have made more carefully finished pieces, but nevertheless, this is a signed piece in top condition with an attention-getting design by a truly important potter at a rock-bottom price. It's in both books as 4-1/4" diameter, but we re-measured it and the 4-3/4" size is correct.


4-3/4" diameter x 3-1/2" high


Condition excellent for its age, minor wear on base


H-47   $275



Faint stone-polished signature enhanced for legibility