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TESUQUE POLYCHROME PITCHER circa 1890


We confess to a weakness for turn-of-the century pieces whose sole initial function was to pry a little money out of Santa Fe tourists. We're pretty sure this pitcher never held anything beyond the brief attention of its buyer, and, although it did get knocked around enough to get its handle broken and reglued, probably spent most of its life in a box in somebody's basement. To our way of thinking, it's an important piece of history and deserves a much better life. Our mission is to see that it finds its way to a proper, respectful home.By 1900, this pottery had almost entirely disappeared from Tesuque, and today pieces like this are rare. Santa Fe traders put Tesuque potters to work making rain gods by the barrel, and in order to meet the demand, the makers set aside the painstaking preparation, painting, polishing and firing that distinguishes the old pieces like this.

     There's a chance this could be Cochiti. However, we were confident enough that it's Tesuque to put it on the old Tesuque page in our latest book. It's on page 179 of the Second Edition of our Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni. The red base and rim and black designs on a cream slip evoke Powhoge Polychrome, the reigning pottery style at Tesuque and San Ildefonso in the middle of the 19th century. So even though the decoration suggests Cochiti, the style says Tesuque.


5" wide x 2-3/4" deep x 5-1/2" high


Condition about what you'd expect in a 125-year-old tourist souvenir. Handle broken and reglued.


S-655   $950