Important Zuni Small Polychrome Bowl with Turkeys and Inner Rim Bands, c. 1870s-’80s

The first thing we see in this extraordinary bowl is that it’s lopsided. (This bowl was made for pueblo home use, not the art market!) Then we see a bright red band on the exterior rim. And then we look inside and the bowl comes to life. In rich reds and browns are 3 bands of designs! First, a male and female turkey inside of red cloud-like forms with rain drops. Then red striped egg-like forms and kiva steps. Then a double rainbow band at the inner rim. This bowl relates closely to a bowl collected by James Stevenson for the Smithsonian in 1881. See Harlow and Lanmon Zuni Pottery figure 17.6.So my guess is, that the maker of this bowl is the same potter who made the bowl collected by James Stevenson. If that is the case, the family would have needed a new serving bowl and sothe potter made this one. The interior double rainbow bands and the extraordinary birds make this an historically significant, charming and beautiful example of pottery mastery at Zuni in the 1870s.

Condition very good with a narrow u-shaped
crack apparently stabilized and over-painted
professionally; no chips or plaster fill.
Inconsequential for such an important ceramic.

Additional information


4 1/2-5 1/2” tall by 12 1/2” wide


1870s – 1880s