St. John’s Polychrome
This unusual pitcher with a dog effigy or figurine for a handle is called a St. John’s Polychrome, manufactured around A.D. 1150 to 1300. It’s one of the White Mountain Redwares, originating from the White Mountains and upper Little Colorado watershed. The Cave Creek Museum is fortunate to have numerous examples of White Mountain Redwares.
The clay of the vessel is light-colored. The red color comes from a wash or slip made by dissolving red clay or hematite, a red mineral, in water. The neck was not colored. Black designs were then brushed onto the red areas. The dog figure is decorated with black lines that may represent a skeleton. Brown paint was used to make a different design on the light-colored neck.