Native American Historic Zuni Pottery Canteen, ca 1890, # 824
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Historic Zuni Pottery Canteen, ca 1890
824. Description: Native American historic Zuni pottery Canteen. This vessel has two handles that are interconnected by a hide strap. Midway between the handles there is a cylindrical nozzle. Decorating the recto face of the canteen is a poly-chrome curvilinear design from which four shapes emerge from a central point. The four arms are encircled within a series of brown lines. Circa 1890.
Dimensions: 7″ diameter (9″ across including handles) 1″ opening, 8″ front to back. 6″ tall when sitting flat, painted medallion is 4 1/2″ wide.
Condition: Good for age, small firing crack in bottom, finish is cracking given the age.
“Pueblo pottery is made using a coiled technique that came into northern Arizona and New Mexico from the south, some 1500 years ago. In the four-corners region of the US, nineteen pueblos and villages have historically produced pottery. Although each of these pueblos use similar traditional methods of coiling, shaping, finishing and firing, the pottery from each is distinctive. Various clays gathered from each pueblo’s local sources produce pottery colors that range from buff to earthy yellows, oranges, and reds, as well as black. Fired pots are sometimes left plain and other times decorated—most frequently with paint and occasionally with appliqué. Painted designs vary from pueblo to pueblo, yet share an ancient iconography based on abstract representations of clouds, rain, feathers, birds, plants, animals and other natural world features.
Tempering materials and paints, also from natural sources, contribute further to the distinctiveness of each pueblo’s pottery. Some paints are derived from plants, others from minerals. Before firing, potters in some pueblos apply a light colored slip to their pottery, which creates a bright background for painted designs or simply a lighter color plain ware vessel. Designs are painted on before firing, traditionally with a brush fashioned from yucca fiber.
Different combinations of paint color, clay color, and slips are characteristic of different pueblos. Among them are black on cream, black on buff, black on red, dark brown and dark red on white (as found in Zuni pottery), matte red on red, and polychrome—a number of natural colors on one vessel (most typically associated with Hopi). Pueblo potters also produce undecorated polished black ware, black on black ware, and carved red and carved black wares.
Making pueblo pottery is a time-consuming effort that includes gathering and preparing the clay, building and shaping the coiled pot, gathering plants to make the colored dyes, constructing yucca brushes, and, often, making a clay slip. While some Pueblo artists fire in kilns, most still fire in the traditional way in an outside fire pit, covering their vessels with large potsherds and dried sheep dung. Pottery is left to bake for many hours, producing a high-fired result.
Today, Pueblo potters continue to honor this centuries-old tradition of hand-coiled pottery production, yet value the need for contemporary artistic expression as well. They continue to improve their style, methods and designs, often combining traditional and contemporary techniques to create striking new works of art.” (Source: Museum of Northern Arizona)
I have had a passion for collecting all things beautiful and unique my entire life and would like to share these items with others having a similar interest. I have representative items from the American South West, Asia, Central and South America, East Africa and Nagaland in North Eastern India. I strive to offer the best items that I have collected or can find for sale from numerous sources to the discriminating collector of unique cultural items from each of these areas of the world. My primary interest is in pottery, textiles, bronze sculptures, and extraordinary pieces of adornment. All sales are via the internet only. Products from my shop here on Artizan Made link over to my shop on Etsy.