|Dimensions||10 x 9 in|
This is a charming smallish polychrome olla, dating to about 1910. It is beautifully formed although the slight slope in the framing line at the top of the mid-body gives a first-glance appearance of a pot that is leaning a bit.
Most wonderful is the plethora of design element: mountains, clouds at the neck (and inside the neck, just below the rim), plant elements, etc. But most charming of all is the parade of birds around the mid-body, all painted somewhat differently from the one before. These cascading birds give delightful movement to the whole design field.
There were early 20th century pottery painters at San Ildefonso who loved to paint birds on pots. Alfredo Montoya who died in 1913 at age 23 was one of them. I have had pots that I have attributed to him at various stages of his life, even from childhood. If he painted this one, it would have been an early effort as his painting became very refined as an adult. There is however, not enough evidence for me to make an attribution to Alfredo Montoya.
Still in all, the naive warmth and charm of this pot would make it a noteworthy addition to a collection of historic pots with birds or specifically historic pots with birds from San Ildefonso.
Condition is excellent with some slight rim-wear.