ZUNI POLYCHROME OLLA circa 1890
At first, we put an 1860 date on this unusual Zuni jar because of Francis Harlow's discussion in the 1990 Pottery of the Pueblo Indians 1600–1800. It has the pinched base that disappeared from Zuni jars by the end of the 19th century and the bulbous shape and casual painting that suggests an early date. We liked the fact that the potter wasn't about to waste her precious red paint—the only red on the piece is in the four little triangles below the neck. Then we had an exchange with Dwight Lanmon, who with Harlow, wrote the 2008 The Pottery of Zuni Pueblo, the definitive book on Zuni pottery. For many reasons, all explained in the book, he felt this wasn't made before 1880 and might have been made as late as 1900. We feel that Lanmon's date decision was based on the brown underbody, since according to the book, everything made before 1880 had a red underbody. We're uncomfortable with hard lines like that and feel that Zuni potters made pieces with brown underbodies earlier, and other authorities agree. Whatever its date, this is a big, unrestored Zuni olla, full of age and character that we're able to offer at an exceptionally low price. It's a fine piece of history and a fine value. We put this on page 191 of the Second Edition of our Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni.
10-1/2" diameter x 9" high
Condition quite good considering its age. Unrestored with a 1" hair crack extending from the rim.