Zia Water Jar, ca. 1890
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:31)
GUEST: I purchased it about 40 years ago from a thrift shop in lower Westchester County, and I paid probably about two dollars for it.
APPRAISER: Why did you buy it?
GUEST: I just liked the looks of it, and I just thought it looked very primitive, and I just liked it.
APPRAISER: And have you found out anything about it or...?
GUEST: No, I went to a Native American exhibit about 35 years ago, and they had a smaller version, or so it seemed like that, in a glass case. And that's as much as I know. So I really don't know anything about the pot.
APPRAISER: Well, I believe this pot was made at Zia Pueblo in New Mexico. Okay. It's Z-I-A. And generally when you see a Zia pot, it will have little birds on it or roadrunners, and they're kind of a little whimsical. And this has these giant hearts with crosses. I mean, it's very different. And it has a real arty feel. It's also an old pot. It's not a recently made thing. It's not from the '50s, it's not from the '40s. It's probably from the late 19th century-- 1880s, 1890s. The color is great. It's very muted. It doesn't have that bright white you usually see on these pots. The smoke clouds on it are all right. Do you know about smoke clouds?
APPRAISER: You see this darkening over here?
APPRAISER: They're firing these things in a pit covered with sheep manure or cow manure. It's not like they have an electric kiln and go in and put this in there. And you'll have places that are uneven in the heat and they're uneven in the firing, and they'll leave clouds like these dark clouds over on this side on the pot. These are water jars, is what they are.
GUEST: That's what I heard.
APPRAISER: It's got some areas of damage.
APPRAISER: They're negligible, to me. It's got a fairly large crack over here...
APPRAISER: ... that goes down the side and a little nick in the rim, but we all talked about it—what's the damage going to do, would you fix it... Yeah, we would stabilize it to where it didn't break anymore, but we wouldn't fix it and we wouldn't try to cover it up.
APPRAISER: With all that being said, as a broken pot, I feel like this pot would bring, without much difficulty, $6,000 to $8,000 in an auction setting.
GUEST: Wow. It's amazing.
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