This very tall vase from Tonalá, Mexico was hand made and hand painted by an artist/potter who signed this work Mateos. We have had works signed Mateos Tostado and we believe this is by that same artist, but we haven't found much information about him. We do know he was working in the 1960's and birds of all kinds were a favorite theme of his: ducks, quail, doves and owls like this one. The double gourd shape of this vase is unusual and the artistry is truly spectacular. The white owl with elaborately detailed wing and tail feathers, realistically rendered feet and claws and eyes that look like a luna moth; the flowers and leaves in swirls of blue, green, white and brown and the stemmed brown fruits are all painted in glossy slip on the unglazed sandy clay background. The vase is trimmed with a brown band at the base and a wide cobalt blue band at the tall, graceful neck.
Weighing in at three pounds, the vase measures 6 inches across at its widest, has a 4 1/2 inch diameter bottom that is signed MEXICO and MATEOS and a 2 1/4 inch wide mouth. It is in excellent condition and a very special piece of Mexican folk art.