Research: Luce Center for American Art

Vase, Chief Shavehead
Accession #84.176.4
Decorator Grace Young
Maker Rookwood Pottery Company
TitleVase, Chief Shavehead
Dateca. 1899
MediumGlazed earthenware
Dimensions15 1/2 x 6 x 6 in. (39.4 x 15.2 x 15.2 cm)
MarksImpressed on bottom: "[stamp consisting of reversed 'RP' monogram surrounded by 13 flames] / 856 / B" Incised by hand on bottom, in script: "- Shavehead - / - Arapahoe - "
Inscriptionsno inscriptions
Signedno signature
Credit LineGift of Mr. and Mrs. Jay Lewis
LocationAmerican Identities: Centennial Era
DescriptionSlender oviform vase with flared neck decorated with portrait of an Indian brave in profile wearing full-feathered headdress and striped blanket in shades of ochre, green, brown and deep orange, on a dark brown ground. CONDITION: Drilled. Some scratches to glaze, especially lower part of Indian.

Curatorial Remarks:

Rookwood Pottery Company introduced Indian figural decoration in the mid-1880s, when white Americans became increasingly aware of the plight of the Native American peoples. Artists romanticized an idyllic past when Indians lived in harmony with nature and were often inspired by contemporary photography of Native Americans. Vases with Indian figures are among the pieces most prized by Rookwood collectors today.