Mexican Terracotta Mugs Painted Mid Century Red Clay Cups
- Vintage item
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This rustic pair of oversized terracotta mugs were hand made in Tlaquepaque in the Mexican state of Jalisco. They date from the 1940's or 1950's, before Ken Edwards and Jorge Wilmot introduced high fire pottery to the area in the 1960's. These mugs were made of local red clay, fired at low temperature and covered with the typical high gloss lead-based glaze. The hand painted decorations were applied with casual artistry in green, blue and white, with a stylized swan, a cactus plant and clouds the principal designs on each. The C-shaped handles and the rims are striped. The bottoms are rounded but do sit flat and are unmarked in any way. This pottery was made for use, not for tourists or for export.
Each mug weighs about 1 pound and stands about 6 inches tall, although one is 1/4 inch taller than the other. They are each 4 inches across the mouth and a bit smaller than that across the base. Both have small chips and nicks, although none is glaring on such rough clay pottery. There is a fine hairline crack on one of the cups; it's most visible in photograph # 2, on the upper rim of the left hand one, located just to the left of the white cloud. It goes through to the interior, but appears to be stable. This old Mexican clay pottery is easily chipped and due to the high lead content should be used solely for decoration and admiration.