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Currently in bloom at OTA, a peloric phalaenopsis

Old, used Santo Domingo polychrome olla


Old, used Santo Domingo polychrome olla

by Crucita Melchor

A lovely older, used water jar, made by Crucita Melchor of Santo Domingo. The jar is 9″ tall by 8″ wide. A fairly heavy vessel, this vessel did service as a water jar. It has lots of wear from use, including mineral deposits at base and at rim from containing water. Years of use have left water deposits and caused some of the polished surfaces to loosen in the polished base and around the neck.

Crucita was born in 1932 and I would guess that this jar was made sometime before 1960. However it was used, the jar had a second incarnation as it was gifted to a young woman in a footrace in 2007. This is recorded on the bottom of the pot in black ink. The jar has text on the underside that reads, “Crucita Melchor, Pottery of the Melchors, Santo Domingo Pueblo.” There is a difficult to read notation at an angle in the upper right above that text, and “Lucero” is printed below. Then, in June of 2007, the date written on the bottom, the jar was gifted to Miss Lucero.

$650


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Navajo silver letter opener


Navajo silver letter opener

A very heavy, layered silver letter opener. Verbal only but this was said to have been custom made for Tobe Turpen in Gallup. This is not cast, the jeweler used four layers of silver sheet to form the handle and then shaped the blade from the center two of the layers. Then stamped the handle on both sides. The whole piece measures 8 7/8″ long, the blade is 4 7/8″ long, the handle is 1/2″ wide and 5/16″ across the layers.

$325


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Navajo weaver’s comb


Navajo weaver’s comb

Hand carved wooden comb. I think it is carved of cottonwood and this is one of the biggest combs I’ve seen at about 15 1/4″ long. Normal wear from use.

$95


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Caribou antler cribbage board


Caribou antler cribbage board

An unusual thing, this is a cribbage board made of a caribou antler. Hand finished, with an incised figural decoration, and signed on the back. I was told that this was found on a beach in the Bering Straight. I didn’t quite believe that until I looked closer and, yes, many of the holes are still full of sand. Based on the signature, the piece was probably made on Mary’s Igloo, an Inuit village originally named Kauwerak. In the early 1900s, non-Natives valled the village “Mary’s Igloo,” after an Inupiat woman named Mary, who welcomed visitors, trappers, miners and others, into her home. The village was nearly empty by the mid-1950s. The antler is signed “D.O. Komok” and “Mary’s Igloo.” The board measures 11 3/4″ x 9.”

Note that the board has 20 holes in each long row, rather than 30 in each row on standard boards. So, players have to go around three times rather than twice. No pegs and a little sand would need to be dug out of the holes. Otherwise, the board is in apparently excellent condition.

$325


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Early Hopi Heheya Kachina

An old Hopi flat or “cradle” kachina. With the corn cob on his forehead, I believe this is Heheya. Definitely made for use rather than for sale, he is carved of cottonwood and painted with mineral pigments. The fluff on his head is fur on hide, probably rabbit. He was made with one non-traditional element that must have just fulfilled the need at that moment. The wrap around his neck is foam rubber with a black fabric covering.

He measures 10″ tall by 5 3/4″ ear to ear and his head is about 2 1/4″ deep. The katsina is in very good old condition. The fabric wrap is holey and there are bits of paint missing.

$275.00


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