Helen Cordero Storyteller Pot, ca. 1968
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:08)
Antiques Appraiser and Consultant
GUEST: My husband was stationed in the Air Force for three years in Albuquerque and we used to go out to the pueblos. And we'd knock on doors and ask what they had for sale. And we obtained jewelry and pottery and so forth. There was a woman making pottery-- and her whole family was making pottery. And I particularly like this piece because of all the children. And I asked her if she would sell it to me. And she did.
APPRAISER: And what was the year?
APPRAISER: Okay, well, let's talk a little bit about the Cochiti Pueblo pottery tradition. This is a book on pueblo pottery. And this picture is 1880. You can see that the Cochiti made animals and human forms. So this tradition goes back into the 19th century. Now, Helen Cordero was born in 1915. She became a potter and originally she was making very traditional looking pots. Nobody paid any attention to her. Just after 1960, she started making these pots which are called "storyteller pots." She is paying homage to her grandfather who, as a little girl, told her stories as she sat on his knee. So some people call it a "grandfather pot." Now, we do want to check the signature and the date, which you can see on the bottom it says Helen Cordero. And up on the side is the date that you just described, 1968. And it's very important that this be documented because you bought it directly from the artist.
GUEST: Mm-hmm, and she wasn't signing them. My husband said, "Oh, would you mind signing it?"
APPRAISER: Well, I think that was a great thing that he did that. And you paid $25.
GUEST: $25, which was a lot for us at that time.
APPRAISER: I'm going to say conservatively now, in a private gallery, that this piece is $8,000 to $10,000.
GUEST: Okay, well, that's certainly appreciated.
APPRAISER: It's a good investment.
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