The Testimony of Hands

68.43.36, porcelain fragment

68.43.36, fragment of Mexican Mayolica from San Gabriel de Yunque (A.D. 1598–1610)
UNM field school collection; Photograph by T. Ocken

This pottery fragment, 2 inches (5 cm) long, is from a blue-on-white mayolica (tin-glazed earthenware) table piece brought to New Mexico by its first Spanish settlers. Most likely the piece was made in Puebla, where mayolica is still made today. The piece broke by 1610 so was not taken to Santa Fe when the Spanish capital was moved to that location.

The Iberians who settled New Spain used mayolica in their home country, and established a mayolica industry in Mexico soon after the conquest. As this fragment shows, the use of Mexican mayolica expanded along with the northern frontier of what is now Mexico. Mexican and Spanish blue-on-white mayolica is part of a global tradition linking those countries to the Arab world and China. We tell a bit more of the story of Mexican Mayolica in a different online exhibit, as you can see by clicking here.

All content copyright © Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico. A high-resolution verson of this photograph may be ordered from the Maxwell Museum's photo archives. Please make note of the catalogue number. For more information please visit the photo archives web page

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