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Hopi Polychrome Jar with Bear Claw Design


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James Garcia Nampeyo (1958- )
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 5-1/8” height x 10-7/8” diameter
  • Item # C3903P
  • Price: $1,750.00

James Garcia Nampeyo is a great-grandson of Nampeyo of Hano and grandson of Fannie Nampeyo.  His mother was Leah Garcia Nampeyo and his sister is Melda Nampeyo.

This jar was most likely made in the 1990s when the artist was in his 30s, according to the current owners, who collected extensively at Hopi Pueblo while the family made frequent trips to the mesas at the time the doctor in the family was working with Hopi children to correct cleft palate.

This jar is clear evidence of the artist’s talent as a potter.  It is symmetrical in shape and beautifully polished. The walls are exceptionally thin.  There are four designs, which have been referred to as bear claws, executed in brown pigment, each with a swirl around one side executed in red pigment.  Other swirls in red pigment are attached to the design just below the rim.  Execution of the painted lines was exceptional.

Condition: this Hopi Polychrome Jar with Bear Claw Design is in excellent condition after having a small rim chip professionally repaired.

Provenance: from the estate of a medical doctor who collected pottery on the Hopi mesas when he made trips frequently to work with children with cleft palate.

Recommended Reading:  Contemporary Hopi Pottery by Laura Graves Allen, 1984

Close up view of side panel design.