Early Wool On Cotton Colcha with Provenance

Item #: 170
Origin: Spanish Colonial
Date: First Half 19th Century
Media: Cotton
Dimensions: 86 x 51.5″
Description: This early colcha is a mixture of floating floral and animal elements in a folky pattern similar to the art work of Joan Miro. The red/pink yarns, with 5 dye tested by David Wenger, show that 1 was 100 % lac and the others were either cochineal or a mixture of lac and cochineal. These red/pink yarns are raveled 2 ply bayeta. This is unique in that most colchas of this period contain 3 machine ply cochineal yarns and not raveled bayeta yarns. This may suggest that this was embroidered by a Navajo in a Spanish Colonial household.
Provenance: This colcha was donated to the School of American Research (SAR) by Amelia White, who along with her sister Martha, donated their Santa Fe home built in the 1920s by El Delirio to become the home of SAR – which it still is today however expanded. At some point in the 1970s, SAR released some of their Spanish Colonial items to private hands to better focus on Native American aspects. This colcha then went into private hands.