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S: a two-handled vessel for your evaluation. So enjoyable to…

For Robert S: a two-handled...
For Robert S: a two-handled vessel for your evaluation. So enjoyable to hold! Thanks.
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Answered in 5 hours by:
3/22/2018
Josie-Mod
Category: Appraisals
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I'm Josie, a moderator for this topic.
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Customer reply replied 29 days ago
Thanks, Josie.
Robert S.
Robert S., Appraiser
Category: Appraisals
Satisfied Customers: 6,313
Experience: 20+ years of experience in appraisals.
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Hi Daniel,

Just letting you know I got your latest terracotta find.

I'll have an answer for you as soon as I can.

Many thanks,
Robert.

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Hi Daniel,

Apologies for the delayed response, as usual you send me something that takes some hunting down!

It's an intriguing piece, for sure, those twisted handles certainly set it apart from the ordinary and give it a compelling profile. In every other way it's a textbook example of terracotta pottery from Central America or the US Southwest, in other words it's of coiled construction with further shaping by shaving, or carving, the exterior. If it were from Europe or Asia you'd see evidence of rings from being thrown on a potter's wheel.

It looks like it's of fairly recent make, there's no visible wear or weathering and it still has that bloom of freshly fired terracotta. Compare it to this 2500-year-old example from the eastern Mediterranean and you can see the difference immediately.

The one indigenous pottery that comes to mind is the Acoma Pueblo folks where twisted handles are a particular specialty,

though undecorated examples like this are rare. The color of the clay is a good match.

Having trolled through all my references, however, my best estimate for this piece is that it's another example of unglazed Tonala or Tlaquepaque Mexican folk art pottery where twist handles have always been an occasional feature as in this example.

It would also explain why there's no maker's mark. For some reason these people are always reluctant to sign their work and when they do, it's often just with a sharpie pen.

It's a very pleasing and timeless design and I'd give it an eBay/auction value of $30 - $45. Full retail/replacement/insurance value: $75.00.

Hope this is helpful.

Best wishes,
Robert.

Robert S.
Robert S., Appraiser
Category: Appraisals
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Experience: 20+ years of experience in appraisals.
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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
Hi Robert,
What drew my attention was the somewhat flared lip that gave this an un-American appearance (God forbid!). Thanks for your research and comparison images, which really bring your arguments to bear on my piece. And there's never any hurry to reply, except that I've got a few more thingies I want to queue up for you.
Cheers,
Daniel

Yes, you're right about the flared lip being rare in Southwestern pottery, but it does occur reasonably often on Mexican pueblo wares, perhaps another small corroboration of the Mexican attribution. However, I sense in the maker of this piece, a healthy independent artistic spirit trying hard not to be too derivative and definitely succeeding with those wonderfully sculpted handles. This also makes it doubly hard to label it with a place of origin.

Looking forward to seeing what else you have, as always!

Have a great day and many thanks!

Robert.

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