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A Hopi polychrome pottery vase with
painted geometric designs and a corrugated
rim by Nampeyo of Hano, circa 1915-1920
This is a fascinating vessel from an interesting time period in the life of the great Hopi pottery matriarch. As she grew older, Nampeyo suffered from a debilitating eye condition known as trachoma, which impaired her ability to see during certain times. During these periods, her pottery-making skills remained superb since forming, shaping and polishing vessels is done largely by feel.
Her painting, however, became somewhat less precise and complex, as one can observe on this vessel although the alternating black and red fret designs which encircle the vessel are nevertheless still superbly rendered. Most interestingly, during these time periods when her eyes were affected, Nampeyo experimented with different tactile forms and textures in her pottery most notably the use of corrugation as she did beautifully on the rim of this vessel.
This vase measures 6 1/4” in height and is 7 3/4” in diameter. It is in excellent original condition with some minor abrasion to the painted design in one or two small areas. There is no restoration or overpainting evident and the piece has a very fine stone-polish.