Lucy M. Lewis Acoma Pueblo Pottery
Appraised Value: $12,000 - $18,000
IMAGE: 1 of 5
Appraisal Video: (2:58)
Antiques Appraiser and Consultant,, Specialist, American Indian Art and Ethnographica
GUEST: We've had them for over 50 years, and we know who the potter was, but we don't know any kind of value on them.
APPRAISER: What inspired you to collect these pots?
GUEST: Well, my husband bought three at one time in 1959, the year before we were married, and then we acquired another one and we've loved them all the years.
APPRAISER: They're the work of Lucy M. Lewis, who was the last matriarch of the Acoma pueblo. She is in the category of great potters as Maria Martinez, Nampeyo and Margaret Tafoya. And it's quite extraordinary to see such wonderful examples. She worked in a very traditional manner. She would collect Mimbres, black-on-white pots, archaic pieces, shards, and use them to help form these pots. She'd actually grind them up and do the tempering of her own clay with them. Everything came from the earth. She was a great traditionalist. Why did you come seeking to find out more about them now after you've had them for 50 years?
GUEST: Well, we're thinking about maybe we might sell them or...
APPRAISER: How much was spent on any particular one? Do you remember?
GUEST: Um, this one, this one and this one were bought at the same time, and I don't think we spent over $200 for them. This pot I really don't know how much we paid for it. Under $100.
APPRAISER: And you bought it where, roughly?
GUEST: We bought this at an antique shop.
APPRAISER: Well, if you were to offer these pieces at auction today, the corrugated form over here, it's signed and dated from 1959 and it would have a value of $2,000 to $4,000.
APPRAISER: I would estimate the date on this particular pot probably the mid-'60s. Also $2,000 to $4,000. Even though it's not from the same time period, it's a very nice example of her work and it's signed beautifully.
GUEST: Oh, my God.
APPRAISER: The fine-line potteries are very desirable. $2,000 to $4,000 for this piece. And this one is like a seed jar form. It's beautiful. This particular piece, I think conservatively at auction would sell for $4,000 to $6,000.
GUEST: Oh, my word.
APPRAISER: So you're selling them and going to Disneyland?
GUEST: (laughing) Not Disney World, no. We'd probably go back to Acoma, to the pueblo, and tour the Southwest again.
APPRAISER: You'll find it's changed a tad since 1959, but it's still absolutely beautiful. It's called Sky City.
APPRAISER: Thank you for bringing them today.
GUEST: Oh, thank you so much.
APPRAISER: They're extraordinary.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.