Small Hopi Pottery Seed Jar by Nampeyo of Hano


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Nampeyo of Hano, Hopi-Tewa Potter and Matriarch

This polychrome seed jar was created by Nampeyo of Hano, the Hopi-Tewa potter who is widely regarded as one of the most historically significant Native artists. This piece is atypical in multiple ways, the most notable of which is the vessel form—this is a smaller-scale version of the common seed jar form. Nampeyo's work is endlessly inventive and always interesting, and this piece will likely appeal to many collectors. While it's not her most ambitious offering, it is undeniably beautiful and notably unique.

Painted designs appear in black and red, forming a pair of identical stylized bird elements. Black lines, one thick and one thin, appear below the jar's open rim. The slip coloration is a wonderful orange tone—a bit stronger than the typical example, and quite beautiful. The tone varies a bit, becoming lighter or darker in certain areas. The designs, the color palette, and the vessel itself work beautifully together to create a piece that has a powerful visual impact.

Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942) was a widely influential potter who lived and worked on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. Nampeyo is regarded today as one of the finest Hopi potters and one of the most important figures in Native American pottery. Her work is displayed in museums and collections around the world. Little, if any, of her pottery is signed, but her work has been published and documented in detail and is easily identifiable to collectors. Nampeyo was taught how to make pottery by her grandmother and began earning an income as a potter while she was still just a teenager. Less interested in innovation than perfection, Nampeyo took an early interest in the design and form of ancient Hopi pottery, which she believed to be superior to the pottery being created by her contemporaries. She visited the ruins of ancient villages and copied designs from pieces of prehistoric and protohistoric pottery onto paper, then reproduced the designs on her own vessels.

Condition: excellent condition, a ⅛" diameter circular section of slip loss appears near base

Provenance: Adobe Gallery sold this Small Hopi Pottery Seed Jar by Nampeyo of Hano to a client in 2005 from whom we now have it back to sell again.

Recommended Reading: The Call of Beauty: Masterworks by Nampeyo of Hopi, by Edwin L. Wade and Allan R. Cooke

TAGS: Hopi Pueblo, Fannie Polacca NampeyoNellie Nampeyo DoumaAnnie Healing NampeyoNampeyo of Hano, Hopi-Tewa Potter and Matriarch

A top view of this Nampeyo seed jar.

Nampeyo of Hano, Hopi-Tewa Potter and Matriarch
C4752B-seed.jpgC4752B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.