1999-13 Small Under-Fired Pot

Object ID:
1999-13

Artist:
Annie Healing Nampeyo

Dimensions:
2.0" h X 4.25" w

Small under-fired pot with an irregular edge and simple exterior design. The pot carries a Fred Harvey “From the Hopi Villages” sticker and is signed “Annie Nampeyo,” ca. 1930s.

Like her sister Nellie’s pot (1991-03), this pot is under-fired and thus the clay is not yellow or blushed red and the signature has not adhered well. Clearly this is a pot that was made without much care as a quick effort to raise a bit of cash selling to a purchasing agent of the Harvey Company.

Unlike her sister Fannie, who made pottery her entire adult life, Annie apparently made little pottery after she was married and began her own family early in the 20th century. This was many years before signing pots was encouraged by the Museum of Northern Arizona. In addition, later in life Annie was plagued with poor health and this is another reason she made little pottery. Apparently towards the end of her life the few pots she made were painted by her children, most often Rachel (Blairs 1999:184).

According to a conversation I had with Annie’s granddaughter Priscilla, Annie never learned to write and her pots were generally signed by her youngest daughter Beatrice. After Beatrice’s death in 1942, Priscilla said Annie’s pots were generally signed by another daughter, Rachel (mother of Priscilla). This conversation is contradicted by the Blairs (1999:153) who believe that Annie was the first to sign her mother’s (Nampeyo’s) pots, though later they say that it was not known if Annie could write (1999:180).

For a pot similar to 1999-13 with a clear “Annie” signature, see 2000-06 and the associated discussion of pots signed “Annie Nampeyo.” That discussion indicates that because the letter “e” in the name “Nampeyo” is not capitalized, pot 1999-13 was most likely signed by either her daughter Beatrice (2002-08, 2005-04) or her granddaughter Rachel (1994-12), as Priscilla had indicated. The finest signed Annie pot I have seen is 2009-04 and this signature seems different from the signatures of the other two signed Annie pots in the collection. In 2002, Tonia Sedlock offered a signed Annie pot on eBay. Later this pot was sold through the Old Territorial Shop, Scottsdale. The Annie signature on this pot is different from all the others. The “Annie” on the Sedlock pot is written in script, though “Nampeyo” is printed and the “E” is capitalized. [Photograph on file.] The variance in signatures suggests that the Blairs’ comment that Annie could not write is correct. Apparently, multiple people signed her pots for her.

Purchase History:
Purchased on 8/10/99 on eBay, from B.B Trading Co., in Macomb, IL, who had purchased the pot on 8/5/99 at an antique mall in Bushnell (?), IL. The eBay listing interpreted the signature as “Amie Nampeyo,” given the poor condition of the signature. This is not a great pot but it is a rare signed Annie Healing pot, which explains the competitive bidding and relatively high price.