What’s it worth? Appraisal for Acoma pottery by Lucy M. Lewis

acoma pottery vase lucy m lewissignature on acoma pottery vase lucy lewis

A client asks:
What can you tell me about this pottery vase?


AW says: That’s an excellent mono-chrome Acoma pottery vase. The artist Lucy M. Lewis, is a well known potter.

This is a Native American pottery vase made in Acoma, New Mexico. See more details below.

Date range: 1967

Retail value: $1,400-1,800

Wholesale value: 800-1000
(The mid range price you could expect to achieve at a well advertised live auction. The price that is most often realized)

Quick sale value: $600
The price your likely to get if you have to sell your item immediately and your prospective customer is aware of this.

Common terminology, nicknames, keywords: South Western pottery, Native American, Lucy M Lewis,

Care and storage tips: It’s a good idea to put away taller pottery when small children or pets are expected for a visit.

 More about Acoma Pottery:

From http://acomapottery.net

The Acoma Pueblo is one of the oldest still inhabited dwelling in North America. Located approximately 80 miles west of Albuquerque, N.M., The “Sky City” of Acoma is perhaps one of the most beautiful and mystifying locations.

Acoma Pottery, with its recognizable monochrome and polychrome designs, is some of the most beautiful American Indian (Native American) pottery available.

Acoma Pottery is known for its very thin walls, stylistic fluted rims, and beautifully painted geometric designs. Creating Acoma Pottery is a time consuming and resource intensive venture. From collecting the clay to the final firing, the finished product is by far some of the most beautiful Native American pottery.

 The artist:

Lucy M. Lewis (1898 – March 12, 1992) was a Native American potter from Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. She is known for her black-on-white decorative ceramics made using traditional techniques.

Lucy’s pottery is made from a gray claybody and formed by hand using coils. After the pot is shaped and dried, a white slip is applied. Without the slip the mineral paints would run off the pot. Next the design is applied using mineral paints and a brush made from the Yucca plant.

This small brush holds more paint and makes finer lines than regular brushes bought at a store. Finally on a day when the weather is right for a firing, a small number of finished pieces are carefully pit-fired. Results are rarely 100%. Some pieces will end up cracked, the background on others will be gray rather than white (these will need to be refired), but a few will be wonderful. After going through this process one learns why these pieces should be well taken care of and carefully preserved.