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A beautiful historic Hopi polychrome pottery handled vase or pitcher by Nampeyo of Hano and Fannie Nampeyo, c.1925-1930
This vessel is a very lovely collaboration by one of the most talented Mother-Daughter duos in history; this handled vase or pitcher bears all the hallmarks of the Nampeyo family’s exceptional pottery; its very beautifully formed, perfectly polished and finely painted with a bold, vivid, precisely executed “Sikyatki-Revival” stylized bird design.
As is common in Southwestern Pueblo society, pottery making at Hopi was an often collaborative family affair and, like the great San Ildefonso Pueblo potter Maria Martinez, Nampeyo had three extremely capable family collaborators at various times in her long career; eldest daughter Annie, middle daughter Nellie and youngest daughter Fannie. Fannie would have been in the prime of her pottery-making abilities around 25-30 years of age when she painted this vessel for her Mother.
Around this time Nampeyo was suffering one of her periodic bouts of the progressive eye disease trachoma
which she suffered from and thus needed more assistance than usual in painting. Fannie was an outstanding painter and the painted designs on this vessel bear all the power, confidence and balance of Fannie’s beautifully rendered,
deeply colored designs.
“I would suggest it dates to the late twenties with the vessel made
by Nampeyo and the oversized bold composition painted by Fannie”
-Edwin L. Wade, Ph.D.,
Nampeyo scholar and author
The vessel measures 7” in height, 5 1/2” in width at the widest point and is 2 3/4” in depth. It is in generally excellent original condition particularly given its nearly one century of age. There are a few very small original firing pop-outs on the the vessel which could be easily restored by a competent pottery restorer if desired, but we do not believe this is necessary at all. This is a very fine and significant historic piece and an exceptional example of what can be achieved when two very talented artists work together toward achieving a common goal of excellence and beauty.
Nampeyo forming pottery vessels while
her daughter, Fannie paints them, c. 1925-30
A similar single-handled and footed polychrome pottery vase or pitcher formed and painted by Nampeyo circa 1915 and signed “NAMPEYUO” by Fannie Nampeyo. Fannie could write in English which Nampeyo could not and on rare, special occasions she signed her Mother’s name on Nampeyo’s pottery pieces.