Unique Pottery of the Southwest


August 07, 2020

Unique Pottery of the Southwest

Video Translation: Hi, this is Jennifer here with City Farmhouse Antiques and I am here with this week's find of the week. I am going to give you a peek and a hint. These are made close to home for me. Being in New Mexico, Native American pottery is very common and we live in the mecca for the most unique pieces of southwest and Mexican pottery. These are exceptionally cool pieces called storytellers. Helen Cordero back in the 1960's made the first storyteller and she is known as the mother of all storytellers creating them for the first time. They were made in the representation of a maternal figure with children and were originally known as singing mothers. Helen went on to make storytellers to represent her beloved grandfather so you will also seem them in the masculine form of a grandfather or father figure too. These pieces will all have their mouth open because they are telling stories and will have babies and children surrounding the storyteller listening.  Different artists over the years have created their own styles of storytellers of grandparents, mothers, grandmothers, and will have not only children around them, but butterflies, and animals around them as well. These are typically very detailed pieces so you have to look closely at each piece to see all the detail. The larger and more unique the piece and the more babies or children there are, the higher the value, as a rule. This piece is fairly large. This is one of my favorites because of how unique it is. This is a large piece at about 15 inches tall. The neat thing about this one, and I have never seen this before, is that this headdress is removable. The headdress actually comes off and slides right back in which is pretty incredible. Of course you can see all the detail on this piece. This is a classic piece and those of you that know storytellers know probably by looking at this piece it is marked on the bottom Cheyenne Jim. The artist is actually Diane Lynne and she signs her pieces Cheyenne Jim. Typically artists will always have their own style within each signature piece and for Diane it is really the facial features and the little buttons that you see here that are classic on her pieces. The colors in a piece can also give you a clue as to identifying the artist. This is actually a terracotta coloring. This artist is from the Taos Pueblo  in New Mexico and if you have not been to Taos or New Mexico you are missing out. We live in an incredible state that is so diverse and so different. I remember as a kid growing up in Albuquerque we would go up to the pueblo and take family to visit and along the drive there would be fried Indian bread and Indian taco stands on the side of the road. If you have not had an Indian taco you are truly missing out. I miss that so much living in the southern part of the state I never get that anymore. If you look there are about eight babies on this piece and they are tucked everywhere. Here is one tucked under her wrap, they are tucked all the way around the back of her neck. There you can see them. That is what makes these pieces so beloved by those who collect them because you can display them anywhere and they are great conversation pieces to put on the table and who doesn't like babies. You can see she has them wrapped all around her neck and there is another under her shawl and there you come around to the front. I'm sorry my nails are absolutely atrocious it is covid-19 and I am trying to limit my appointments as I help take care of a 93 year old friend. It will be nice when we can all get back to normal. So anyway, we have an entire collection of storytellers by various artists because they are one of my favorite types of southwest pottery to collect so be sure and check us out on the website at www.cityfarmhouseantiques.com where we have more than just antiques and go give us a like on Facebook. until next week. Have a good week.



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