Loading Spinner

American Indian Pottery

Perfectly fired and richly painted, American Indian pottery conveys the history and artistic heritage of some of North America's oldest cultures. Today, American Indian pottery is prized for its beauty, function, and history.

American Indian pottery’s past traces back several centuries, evolving in response to the human need for a vessel or container for liquid. Over time, pottery became highly specialized among American Indians. Lidded pots and vases became customized for particular purposes. Eventually, they also became enveloped in elaborate designs.

American Indian artisans not only rendered lively patterns and tribal motifs along the contours of their ceramic vessels, but they also experimented with treatments to the surface of the clay. Treatments included burnishing and polishing to elicit a unique sheen on the ceramic surface.


Quick Facts

  • The earliest documented American Indian pottery has been found in the southeastern United States. It dates to roughly the 3rd millennia B.C.
  • The regularity and refinement of pots accelerated with the development of the potter’s wheel around 3,000 B.C., but American Indians did not have contact with such a device until the Europeans arrived centuries later
  • To avoid the cracking or shrinking of their pots as they dried in the open air or with the heat of the fire, American Indians often incorporated additional materials, known as tempers, into their pottery

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Squatting Human Painted Pot
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Squatting Human Painted Pot
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$803 Bids
Casa Grande Style Snake Effigy Pot
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Casa Grande Style Snake Effigy Pot
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
A Pre-historic stone effigy bowl lg. 5 in.
Dec 16, 12:00 PM EST
A Pre-historic stone effigy bowl lg. 5 in.
by Bonhams
Est: $300- $400
$1501 Bid
(4) Signed Indian Made Vases
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
(4) Signed Indian Made Vases
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
PAPAGO WOVEN COVERED JARS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
PAPAGO WOVEN COVERED JARS
by Jackson's International
Est: $150- $250
$1300 Bids
A PAIR OF NATIVE AMERICAN EFFIGY JARS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
A PAIR OF NATIVE AMERICAN EFFIGY JARS
by Jackson's International
Est: $75- $150
$600 Bids
A PAIR OF BLACKWARE NATIVE AMERICAN POTTERY JARS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
A PAIR OF BLACKWARE NATIVE AMERICAN POTTERY JARS
by Jackson's International
Est: $100- $150
$900 Bids
OLD Large Native pottery Jar
Dec 10, 10:00 AM EST
OLD Large Native pottery Jar
by Washingtonian Auction
Est: $100- $20,000
$500 Bids
MYRON CHARLEY NAVAJO ETCHED & TURQUOISE POTTERY
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
MYRON CHARLEY NAVAJO ETCHED & TURQUOISE POTTERY
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $60- $150
$500 Bids
Pueblo Native American Pottery Items
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
Pueblo Native American Pottery Items
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $300
$100 Bids
TWO PIMA WOVEN VESSELS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
TWO PIMA WOVEN VESSELS
by Jackson's International
Est: $250- $350
$2250 Bids
Indian pottery
Dec 14, 6:00 PM CST
Indian pottery
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
bp parity badge
Pair of Signed Native American Acrylic Cabinet Plates
Dec 18, 10:00 AM EST
Pair of Signed Native American Acrylic Cabinet Plates
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
Lot (2) Small Pueblo Jars, ca. 1940's
Dec 10, 12:00 PM MST
Lot (2) Small Pueblo Jars, ca. 1940's
by Appraisley
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
A Native American Vase
Dec 10, 1:00 PM EST
A Native American Vase
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $80- $800
$800 Bids
Historic Late 19th C. Zuni Pueblo Polychrome Canteen
Dec 10, 12:00 PM MST
Historic Late 19th C. Zuni Pueblo Polychrome Canteen
by Appraisley
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$8000 Bids
Signed Tigua Southwest Native American Pottery Vas
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Signed Tigua Southwest Native American Pottery Vas
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$10 Bids
Two Santa Clara Blackware Pottery Vessels, one signed Marisela Torres, and the other initialed J.S.S.
Dec 10, 10:00 AM CST
Two Santa Clara Blackware Pottery Vessels, one signed Marisela Torres, and the other initialed J.S.S.
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $150- $250
$750 Bids
Three Santa Clara Blackware Pottery Vessels
Dec 10, 10:00 AM CST
Three Santa Clara Blackware Pottery Vessels
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $250- $350
$1250 Bids
Antique Native American Pot
Dec 10, 1:00 PM EST
Antique Native American Pot
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $125- $1,250
$1250 Bids
Ceramic Vase
Dec 10, 1:00 PM EST
Ceramic Vase
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $10- $100
$100 Bids
A Mata Ortiz or Native American Pottery Vase
Dec 10, 1:00 PM EST
A Mata Ortiz or Native American Pottery Vase
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $425- $4,250
$4250 Bids
JERI REDCORN (B1939) CADDO ETCHED REDWARE SEED POT
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
JERI REDCORN (B1939) CADDO ETCHED REDWARE SEED POT
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $600
$2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Indian Pottery


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Bonhams

Bonhams

Jackson's International

Jackson's International

Link Auction Galleries

Link Auction Galleries