Da, Tony – Black & Sienna Plate with Antelope (1969)
While the pottery of Tony Da has been well documented, it is still exciting to have a piece with such an exceptional provenance. This gunmetal fired plate is a significant piece in the history of his pottery. It is one of approximately 6 pieces which he dated during his career. In 1969 he created a group of plates, of which each was different. These plates were all dated. This is the only black and sienna one without a stone, which has a date. The plate was fired a gunmetal silver and then the rim was two-toned to make it sienna. The design is an antelope, which was etched into the clay before the firing. The antelope style of the design was inspired by the Mimbres pottery of the 1100’s. While he made other black and sienna plates, this one has a unique historic legacy. It is signed and dated on the back in the clay, “DA 6 69”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. Over the course of a career that spanned from 1967-82, Tony helped change the world of Pueblo pottery. He was among the first to begin etching into the surface of the pottery (sgraffito), adding stones, hei-shi and then began creating all matte carved vessels. His pottery today is considered to be among the most sought after by collectors and museum alike. While he started out as a painter, he made his first pottery in 1967 and his first public showing was at Gallup Ceremonials of that year.