This vintage pottery jar is from my personal collection. It is from Acoma Pueblo, and on the concave bottom is written in pen "Lucy M. Lewis." It came to me with the name written in pen, and the collector from whom I bought the olla told me it was by the famous Lewis (1895-1992) although he did not know for sure if the handwriting was her own. What I can tell you is that it is beautifully made, with Acoma Pueblo designs, with the designed part being monochromatic black on traditional white slip and orange-ochre slip, also in traditional Acoma manner. A step pattern runs horizontally around the neck. The body design is laid out in vertical sections, the dark pigment forming repeating shapes in each section, and these sections are separated by lines and floral motifs at the top and bottom of each line. Lewis is known for reviving eleventh-century, Mimbres-style pottery in Acoma Pueblo. This pottery is characterized by black lines on white slip. She and her husband had nine children, and even while raising her children and helping her husband with chores, she learned how to make pottery. Because of the remote location of Acoma, she had no contact with tourists or collectors, nor did she go to fairs or pow wows to sell her pottery, although she occasionally would sell pieces in the closest town, 20 miles away. And so although she had been making pottery for some decades, the outside world really only first learned about her in 1950, when she received a blue ribbon at the Annual Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial in Gallup. Hence, her work was mostly unsigned until this time. This pot pre-dated the onset of her signing her works by 15-20 years.
This piece measures about 8-3/4" tall by about 8-1/2" in diameter. Weighs about 2.5 pounds. The piece has not been cleaned and was photographed with the dust that is still present. It has some abrasions, mostly at the rim. There are no cracks.
Beautiful and collectible historic Native American pottery.
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