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Antique Zia Roadrunner and Floral Red Clay Olla Storage Jar

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    Posted 2 years ago

    (132 items)

    Picked this up at a thrift store today. I have a good feeling about this this one haha. Decorated with two birds I believe are roadrunners with two flowers with stems coming from both bottom and top. Four mountains can be seen in the background. The rim is decorated with black arches (Rainbows, clouds?). This piece is a bit small is thick and heavy. About 5”x 6” with a diameter of 4”. Weighs 850 grams. It is signed on the bottom but it’s heavily worn. If anyone knows anything about it please share!

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    1. CanyonRoad, 2 years ago
      It looks like the writing on the bottom includes the last part of the name "Gachupin," a surname associated primarily with potters from Jemez, but also found at Zia.

      This certainly looks like traditional Zia pottery, with a distinctive roadrunner design. That is probably not the signature of the potter on the bottom, however, but more likely was written by a former owner. to record the information about how it was acquired. (Which is often not accurate!) It looks like an older piece (which therefore might not have been signed by the potter), plus it is not signed with slip, which is the standard method of signing.

      Zia, unlike any of the other pueblo tribes, tempers their pottery with basalt. So if you can see tiny black specks in the clay body, that would positively identify it as Zia. The other way is to identify the potter by their distinctive style. The birds differ widely, and this one, all black, with feathers on the wings, is a style known to be used by Kathy Pino (shown here: ) She's a Zia potter, born in 1935.

      The definitive reference on Zia pottery is Francis Harlow's "The Pottery of Zia Pueblo." You might be able to figure out who made this from his research. But I'm thinking it's a good chance it was Kathy Pino.
    2. krysciobrad krysciobrad, 2 years ago
      @CanyonRoad , Thanks for the information! And yes the clay does have the black specks.

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