Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

ceramic jar converted to a mailbox with key
  • unknown Zia maker
  • ceramic jar converted to a mailbox with key, late 1800s–early 1900s
  • Where object was made: Zia Pueblo, New Mexico, United States
  • ceramic, pigment, iron
  • Object Height/Diameter: 32 x 28 cm does not include key
    Object Height/Diameter: 12 5/8 x 11 in does not include key
  • Gift from the estate of Gertrude W. Green
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2740.a,b

The bulbous jar (2007.2740.a) has an iron base and hinged lid. The base is an iron band with three legs with a flower at each leg. The lid includes an iron band bolted to the neck of the jar, with a flat lid, locking mechanism, a hinge and a slat for closure.

The bottom 1/3 of the jar is solid red. The top portion is divided into two bands, with the same decoration consisting of finger-like projections from a vertical line, three are red with a black semicircle at the free end, and two have black outlines filled with a white field and black dots, with a solid black semicircle at the end. Each finger-like projection is a different length, and the blocks of color alternate, so for each repeat of the design, there are two red blocks and two dotted blocks.

There is an iron skeleton key (2007.2740.b).