This is a very large dough bowl with ethnographic wear from Zia pueblo. It is close to 20″ in diameter and 10″ tall. The color is a subtle orange over tan slip with rich patina from use and handling. The design is understated, simple with an orange undulating or zigzag band with black edging cascading around the bowl from the rim to the top of the under-body. This is not a loud pot, but a gentle one that draws you in slowly. There are double framing lines at the rim and top of the under-body with a band just below the under-body lines. Simple (possibly) cloud images encircle the neck of this beautiful piece of Zia pottery, which gently turns inward at the rim, unlike dough bowls from Cochiti and Santo Domingo where the rim generally flares slightly outward. The cloud images are mirrored at the bottom of the mid-body to perhaps symbolize mountains and earth. There is no leaning right or left as the bowl is rotated; it is the work of a master Zia potter, elegant and beautiful construction for such a large form. There is a subtle fire cloud indicative of the outdoor firing method. It is in magnificent, original, unrestored condition with some minor surface wear and calcification indicative of home use and its age.
After re-reading Francis Harlow and Dwight Lanmon’s landmark work The Pottery of Zia Pueblo, particularly the chapter on Dough Bowls, I have altered my original assessment of the date of this bowl. Figure 13.35 of that book documents a Zia bowl from the 1920’s in the MIAC collection in Santa Fe. It exhibits a similar orange slip to this Zia dough bowl. Though this bowl is larger than the MIAC bowl, its similarity in form and decoration is so striking that one suspect that the same potter made them both. All of this makes this wonderful bowl all the more fascinating.
Condition is original, excellent and unrestored.
Provenance: Collection of Lyn A. Fox since the mid-1990’s. It sat in our dining room in Tesuque, NM for a number of years. A friend of ours who lived with us for an extended period of time always threatened to make caeser salad in it when we were away.