Melchor, Santana -Large Water Jar with Birds & Flowers (1960s)
Santana Melchor was one of the great potters from Santo Domingo throughout the 1900s. This water jar is a classic shape with a round shoulder and slightly turned neck. The surface of the jar is polished white and then painted with mineral slips. The rim of the jar has a spirit line break in the painting. The body of the jar is wonderfully painted with traditional Kewa designs for which Santana was well known. There are two large Kewa birds on either side They are each different in design. They are separated by large floral patterns. Note at the base there are small bird tracks encircling the jar. They give one a feeling of humor and enjoyment she must have had making her potter. The interior of the neck is slipped with red clay that is stone polished. What you can’t feel is the surface, which is burnished, has a smoother than expected feel, and the black a deeper appearance. It is signed on the bottom, “Santana Melchor”. The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. Did you know she was present in the 1974 delegation of Pueblo potters who visited the White House as a guest of first lady Pat Nixon (see the last photo).