This is a small round bowl with a squared off rim that was made for the tourist trade during the early part of the twentieth century. The initial design of clouds around the rim are feint, but visible.
The Maricopa Reservation is located on the Salt River and Gila River region just outside Phoenix, Arizona. There are very few Maricopa Indians remaining, and almost no potters among them.
Pottery making by the Maricopa was essentially non-existent at the turn of the 20th century, but with the diligence of Elizabeth Hart of the United States Indian Service Home Extension Department, there was a revival, not only in production but also in quality of workmanship. The pottery of that period was of a low quality – a result of demand for souvenir pots by tourists. Elizabeth Hart encouraged Ida Redbird, who was the best potter of the time, to lead other women to improve the quality and design of Maricopa pottery. Thus their pottery became thin walled and symmetrical in shape –ultimately increasing the price.
It was at this time, with the creation of new and improved pottery, the artists began signing their pots. Up until roughly 1936, no signatures or hallmarks were used on Maricopa pottery. After 1937, artists began signing their pottery for individual recognition and credit.
Information adapted from: Adobe Gallery and www.rarepottery.info
Condition: Good-fair- much of the design around the rim has rubbed away
Provenance: Maintained in the same private family gallery since purchased in 1977 at an antique show in Fort Worth, Texas.