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Nampeyo Polychrome Large Jar with Corn Design

C3932A-nampeyo.jpg

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Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 5-1/2” height x 10-3/8” diameter
  • Item # C3932A
  • Price: $12,500.00

This jar has a high-density design pattern with the painted designs going from just below the rim to below the mid-vessel bulge.  Additionally, there are three rows of indentations near the rim from which are attached four bulging clay ribs that have been pushed outward from the interior.  They also each contain four rows of indentations.  These have been referred to as representing corn, certainly a feasible explanation since corn was and is a major life support crop for the Hopi as well as a significant ceremonial item.

According to Barbara Kramer in her book Nampeyo and Her Pottery, Nampeyo began making pottery with corrugations or indentations as her eyesight began failing.  A photograph by Emry Kopta, taken around 1920, is of a jar by Nampeyo with indentations in the design around the neck.  Other jars of this style in collections appear to date between 1918 and 1922.

 

Dr. Ed Wade, who has probably seen more Nampeyo pottery than any other person, acknowledges Kramer’s thoughts but believes Nampeyo did not wait until her sight began deteriorating, but made jars of this vessel shape with indentations as early as 1900.  He states that as early as 1900 there are examples of her use of appliqué documented in a photograph by Sumner W. Matteson.

 

This jar has a high-density design pattern with the painted designs going from just below the rim to below the mid-vessel bulge.  Additionally, there are three rows of indentations near the rim from which are attached four bulging clay ribs that have been pushed outward from the interior.  They also each contain four rows of indentations.  These have been referred to as representing corn, certainly a feasible explanation since corn was and is a major life support crop for the Hopi as well as a significant ceremonial item.

 

The vessel walls are thin and the underbody is rounded.  Each of the design panels is outlined in a wide black frame that is incorporated into the lower framing line.  Each design panel includes dark brown and orange squares, squares with half-moon circles, a large square with crossed fine lines, and a box with an X centered between cloud-like designs.

 

The Nampeyo Polychrome Large Jar with Corn Design has a beautiful orange glow achieved from firing, a compact design concept, and indentations, all of which enhance the beauty of the vessel.  It exudes an importance that is hard to ignore.  It truly is an exceptional example of Nampeyo’s extraordinary artistic talent.

 

Condition: very good condition with minor wear pattern

Provenance:  Recently returned to the United States from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with documentation stating that it was from the private collection of Mrs. Welbergen from Zandvoort, collected between 1960-1990.

References:

- Kramer, Barbara. Nampeyo and Her Pottery

- Wade, Edwin and Allan Cooke. Canvas of Clay: Seven Centuries of Hopi Ceramic Art

Alternate bottom view.

Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)
  • Category: Historic
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: clay, pigment
  • Size: 5-1/2” height x 10-3/8” diameter
  • Item # C3932A
  • Price: $12,500.00

C3932A-nampeyo.jpgC3932A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.