Native American? Canteen

Discussion in 'Tribal Art' started by J Dagger, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. J Dagger

    J Dagger Well-Known Member

    DAC486F4-103D-4011-897D-ABAAADAADCBC.jpeg Saw this posted locally today and normally I wouldn’t have thought much of it but it was posted by a lady that owns an antique store that I sold something to once. It’s described as being Native American. I wasn’t really familiar with NA pottery canteens but they are indeed a thing. Most seem to be quite modern and heavily decorated in stereotypical SW NA design. Some go for some good money for sure. This one which I only have one picture of is incredibly “crude” by comparison. No painted on design. It looks like it has some lines incised in the pottery in a cross hatch type design. Probably some brown paint at some point. Not sure what’s going with this one. Is it just a crude piece that never got decorated properly? Does it actually have some age on it? Is it really NA? Was it made for use rather than sale to tourist or at a gallery? Just someone’s pottery project? Opinions very much appreciated on this one. Listed for $125, I’m guessing the seller thinks there is something here. Were it truly an NA item meant for use I assume the value would be much, much, much higher though. Hence my interest in finding out.
    scoutshouse likes this.
  2. Taupou

    Taupou Well-Known Member

    It's not Native American. Possibly a pottery project, made for school or sale or use in a play or something. The top looks like it was thrown on a potter's wheel and attached to the canteen. Native Americans never used a potter's wheel.

    It is not a form traditionally used by the few Native Americans that used pottery canteens. (Most used water ollas, carried on top of the head.) Size isn't mentioned, but authentic canteens were rather large, worn carried on ones back, with a tump line. The ones you see today, even from the late 1800s, were made for sale to tourists, and are therefore usually decorated, and much smaller.

    On the old Native American canteens, the side resting on the back was flat, the other side was rounded, to hold more water. They had attached lugs on the sides, not holes drilled through the canteen itself. The use of jute rope here makes it look more like a 1970s macrame project.
  3. J Dagger

    J Dagger Well-Known Member

    Awesome thanks! The neck looked all wrong to me too and that’s without knowing anything about these. Every single one I saw on ebkay looked like it was made for sale for sure. I appreciate the 101 on these canteens!! Disappointing that someone who owns an antique store would sell this as NA, even outside of their store! Hopefully ignorance and not deception. Seemed like an incredibly nice and honest person so I’ll assume just lack of research.
    scoutshouse likes this.
  4. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    & on that'd be right.....

    I had an antique dealer...( I use the term...loosely..) once tell me that he had so many items that he couldn't know everything about all of them....& AND....he was to busy trying to sell them to put much research into his items....
    A wheeler Dealer ...was more like it !!!
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