Handsome White Fish Table Fetish

Theodore Kucate

Handsome White Fish Table Fetish, Sculpture by Theodore  Kucate
  • Kucate fetish
Marked Down $3,200.00
Gallery Price $5,200.00
Handsome White Fish Table Fetish
Theodore Kucate
Alabaster with natural teal turquoise eyes and arrowhead
2 7/8" height X 5 7/8" length X 1 1/4" at widest point of body
Date of creation
Glue stains are consistent with the glue having been applied at least 50 years ago. Circa 1940's - 1950's.
Consigned by gentleman who inherited his grandmother's art collection CP
About The Handsome White Fish Table Fetish

This sweet-faced creature sports a graceful swim curve to the right. The top of his powerful tail is a maximum height of 2 7/8". His 1 1/4" width allows him to swim gracefully on any table top.

The eyes are inlaid with a deep teal natural turquoise. This same beautiful material was carved into an arrowhead 1 1/4" in length X 3/4" in width and inlaid in the happy creature's right side, pointing toward the tail.

Fish are an important prosperity symbol in an arid climate. The arrow point indicates a "hunting" fetish--or in this case good fishing.

This is a wonderful piece to hold and look at. He comes from a collection that was gathered for the personality and uniqueness of each creature. The importance of the artist is a bonus. This quiet harbinger of abundance would make a fabulous addition to any fetish or sculpture collection, as it is extremely rare !!!

About Theodore Kucate

(1888-1980, Zuni) "Theodore Kucate worked as a farmer and a jeweler when he began carving fetishes in the 1920's. He based his early work on drawings in Frank Hamilton Cushing's Zuni Fetishes, finding encouragement among traders who appreciated his revival of traditional styles.

Kucate's styles remained rooted in the past, and he never attempted the level of detail achieved by some of his contemporaries. Nevertheless he showed considerable innovation in the way he rendered eyes and other features. Some of his fetishes have simple drilled holes or slits for eyes. On others, the eyes are indicated by inlaid turquoise chips or, in rare instances, beads.

In his later work, eyes are represented by raised turquoise dots. Often using pitch as an adhesive, Kucate set pieces of coral, jet or turquoise into his fetishes. Although he sometimes made horses and non-traditional animals, he fashioned them in the simpler, older Zuni style with which he felt comfortable.

Local stones were his favorite medium, including Ojo rock, an argillaceous stone found near the Zuni settlement of Ojo Caliente. Kucate continued to carve until shortly before his death in 1980." Zuni Fetish Carvers The Mid-Century Masters by Kent McManis


American Indian, Zuni




Animals, Marine Nautical


Theodore Kucate, Kucate fetish