Superb Zia Polychrome Storage Jar with Birds, c. 1900
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This is one of the best Zia storage jars I’ve ever had. It is beautifully formed with widest point just below the shoulder. The 4 colors (rare enough) are remarkably rich and vivid. It had pueblo home use for many years; the evidence of which are rim chips worn smooth from use and water which takes many years (think water over smooth river rocks). The chips were also painted with a light layer of pitch.
Cracks from rim are common in old storage jars. This one has native repair of these with old drill holes bound with 3 “bow-tie” hide repairs. The hide are of course threaded through wet; then shrink as they dry to stabilize the crack. Native repair is very desirable, rooting the piece in pueblo family history. There is a one inch bubble blow out on interior only with native piñon pine tar repair; again very desirable. All that we did was stabilize a couple of cracks held together by the bow-ties by injecting a little glue. No plaster, no fill, no over paint. The condition is really remarkable for a jar this large, this old and with so much ethnographic use.
There is an old Grand Canyon sticker which could be Fred Harvey shop at El Tovar Hotel at the Canyon. If this is true the piece would likely have been at the shop in the 1920’s and with the worn rim chips, it was old then. Great jar!
Size 16” tall by 17” diameter
Provenance Comes from a southern Colorado family