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Mexican Pottery

Mexican ceramics are an excellent example of North America's oldest pottery practices. From Chihuahua to Puebla, the ceramic traditions of Mexico are incredibly diverse.

Mexican pottery can be traced to the beginning of the Bronze Age. Early vessels took simple shapes, and decoration was in the form of a thin clay slip applied to the vessel’s exterior. Practices began to change upon the arrival of Hernan Cortés in the early years of the 16th century as part of the Spanish Conquest. With European ceramic examples, Mexican potters began to create more elaborate and refined designs while also incorporating more varied glazing techniques.

Over time, different regions of Mexico yielded their own unique approaches to pottery. Artisans in Oaxaca state perfected the art of black clay pottery as well as green-glazed pottery, an approach indigenous to the small town of Santa Maria Atzompa. Ceramists in Jalisco state specialized in what is known as "bruñido," or burnished, pieces that are highly decorated with polychrome and then polished to an unrivaled shine. The result of this ingenuity is a field of antique and vintage Mexican pottery that tells its own cultural and artistic tale.


Quick Facts

  • Though early Mexican potters produced their vessels primarily by hand, there is evidence to suggest that Zapotec artists as early as the first millennium had devised a rudimentary potter’s wheel for uniform pots
  • In addition to introducing new pottery types and styles from Asia and Europe, the Spanish also exposed Mexicans to the closed kiln
  • One of the most striking pottery forms unique to the Mexican ceramic tradition is the "Tree of Life" sculpture. These ceramic installations appeared as early as the first millennium B.C. and are still popular today

Recommended Items at Auction

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Robin Teller Isleta Pueblo New Mexico Storyteller Pottery
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Robin Teller Isleta Pueblo New Mexico Storyteller Pottery
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$709 Bids
Caroline L Carpio Isleta Pudeblo New Mexico Signed Pot
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Caroline L Carpio Isleta Pudeblo New Mexico Signed Pot
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
3 VESSELS, MEXICO.
Nov 04, 3:00 PM EDT
3 VESSELS, MEXICO.
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
3 VESSELS, MEXICO.
Nov 04, 3:00 PM EDT
3 VESSELS, MEXICO.
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
A MEXICAN MATA ORTIZ BLACK WARE POTTERY VASE
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
A MEXICAN MATA ORTIZ BLACK WARE POTTERY VASE
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$101 Bid
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SANTA CLARA BLACKWARE POTTERY BOWL New Mexico, 20th Century Height 5".
Nov 18, 9:30 AM EST
SANTA CLARA BLACKWARE POTTERY BOWL New Mexico, 20th Century Height 5".
by Eldred's
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Squatting male figure, ~ 100 BC - 250 AD - Mexico, Ameca, Jalisco
Nov 06, 2:00 PM CET
Squatting male figure, ~ 100 BC - 250 AD - Mexico, Ameca, Jalisco
by Zemanek-Muenster
Est: €800- €1,500
€8000 Bids
Ouray Meyers American 1938 – 2016 Watercolor painting New Mexico Pueblo Figures
Nov 07, 10:00 AM PDT
Ouray Meyers American 1938 – 2016 Watercolor painting New Mexico Pueblo Figures
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,2000 Bids
4 NICOYA VESSELS, COSTA RICA.
Nov 04, 3:00 PM EDT
4 NICOYA VESSELS, COSTA RICA.
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
2 CHORRERA FIGURES, ECUADOR.
Nov 04, 3:00 PM EDT
2 CHORRERA FIGURES, ECUADOR.
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
SHDIYA'ARAITS'A, "DEER DANCER," 1991.
Nov 04, 3:00 PM EDT
SHDIYA'ARAITS'A, "DEER DANCER," 1991.
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $160- $300
$800 Bids
A Mexican Figurine
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
A Mexican Figurine
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
A Signed Mexican Pottery
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
A Signed Mexican Pottery
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
A Vintage Talavera Mexican Pottery
Oct 31, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage Talavera Mexican Pottery
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
A Vintage Talavera Mexican Pottery
Oct 31, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage Talavera Mexican Pottery
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
4 VESSELS, COSTA RICA.
Nov 04, 3:00 PM EDT
4 VESSELS, COSTA RICA.
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $60- $100
$300 Bids
A Signed Mexico Clay Bell With Clasp
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
A Signed Mexico Clay Bell With Clasp
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
4 piece hand painted Mexican nesting bowl
Oct 31, 11:30 PM EDT
4 piece hand painted Mexican nesting bowl
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $125- $150
$750 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Mexican Pottery


Quinn's Auction Galleries

Quinn's Auction Galleries

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Fidelity Estate Services

Fidelity Estate Services

Eldred's

Eldred's