In 1928, the Oklahoma Historical Society purchased a collection of pueblo pottery from the Old Santa Fe Trading Post in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The collection arrived in five barrels and one wooden box, packed in sawdust. The pieces on these pages came from that purchase.
Acoma Vase, circa 1890. According to the bill of lading which accompanied the collection, this piece was formed in the shape to be used as a gift. “It has the characteristic Acoma orange and diagonal linear treatment. The red spots show Zia or Santa Ana influence.” The Acoma Pueblo is located on a mesa, high above the valley floor, about 80 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is estimated the site has been inhabited more than a thousand years.
San Ildefonso Bowl, by Tonita Martinez Roybal (1892 – 1945) Tonita was the daughter of potter Dominguita Pino Martinez and Navajo painter Santiago Martinez. Clay and volcanic ash make the San Ildefonso pottery unique – a rich iron content allows for the dramatic black color when the clay is fired. The San Ildefonso Pueblo is located 23 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico and has long been considered the epicenter for the pueblo pottery movement.
Santa Clara Low Pot with handles, circa 1928, artist unknown. The Santa Clara Pueblo is one of the Eight Northern Pueblos, sitting on the Rio Grande River in northern New Mexico. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado visited the Santa Clara Pueblo in 1541.
Hopi Mixing Bowl, circa 1920s, with interior decorated. The accompanying letter from the Trading Post described it by stating, “has been judged by collectors here as the best example of Hopi pottery making seen here in years.” This piece is a classic example of items produced originally for a practical purpose transforming over time into objects of art. The Hopi now live primarily in northeastern Arizona.
Zuni Bowl, circa 1890s, artist unknown. The Zuni Pueblo is located in northwest New Mexico, about 35 miles south of Gallup. It is very isolated and the Zunis speak their own unique language. Wear around the rim indicates the bowl was actually used before being sold.
Water Storage Bowl, circa 1920s, artist unknown. Traditionally vessels like this were made to be filled with water and taken to the fields, with the strap attached to the handles for ease of carrying.