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ZUNI POLYCHROME OWL FIGURINE circa 1975


This is an excellent, good-sized example of a contiuum that goes back to 1879 when James Stevenson brought his first load of Zuni pottery back to the Smithsonian. Owl figurines were part of his haul, and Zuni potters have made them ever since. Once they saw that tourists would buy them, it didn't take them long to realize that these were more stable and less fragile if they no longer made them stand on properly owlish claw feet. Almost all of these made after 1900 sit on their round bottoms, footless, like this guy. Several years ago, we were watching a demonstration by a Zuni potter when he offered us a bit of inter-tribal needling as an explanation: that Zunis put owls in their windows "to keep Navajos away." They must be effective, considering all the years that the Zunis have been making them.


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


Condition remarkable considering its age  


S-811   $250