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Culture: Mexican
about 1920
Maker:Made by Fabricante Magdaleno , Mexican
Original Owner:Possibly originally owned by President Plutarco Elías Calles , Mexican, 1877 - 1945
Original Owner:Originally owned by Rebecca G. Affachiner , American, 1884 - 1966
Mold-formed earthenware with black, red, and blue decoration
Primary Dimensions (height x width x depth): 9 x 6 5/8 x 2 1/2in. (22.9 x 16.8 x 6.4cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Ezra P. Gorodesky
Description: Buff-colored earthenware jug or canteen. The jug consists of a wide strap handle connecting two short cylindrical necks. Each neck is attached to the top surface of the canteen-shaped body of the jug. The body is composed of two round, parallel sides connected by a curved surface, to which the necks are attached. The bottom of the body is flat, to provide a stable surface to rest on. In the center of each side is an elaborate, round disk with an ornate surface of concentric borders, each border containing many symbols and signs. A stylized face is at the center of the disk, and four evenly-spaced triangles point away from the face toward the edge. Each disc is coated in a low gloss black glaze or enamel. The remainder of the ceramic body is hand-painted with repeated, abstract matte blue and red geometric designs, separated by matte black lines. There is a chip on the lower corner of one side of the jug. There are several cracks in each neck; at one time the handle and portions of each neck broke completely away from the body of the jug. These pieces have since been reattached, although there is a small area of loss on one neck.
Historical Note: Rebecca Affachiner built a career on service to Jewish communities. In 1924, she went to Mexico to study the possibilities for settling Polish refugees who were flocking to Central American countries from war-torn Europe. According to the donor, the President of Mexico presented this jug to Rebecca Affachiner. There was an election in Mexico in 1924, so the President was either Álvaro Obregón (1880-1928) or Plutarco Elías Calles (1877-1945). Subject Note: The elaborate black design on each side is the Aztec Calendar. The original calendar is a large round stone, twelve feet in diameter, carved in the fifteenth century. (Hunt 4/8/2005)
Object Number: 2005.49.1
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