2010-05 Small Vase with Avian Designs

Object ID:
2010-05

Artist:
Nampeyo 3 (signed); painted by a daughter

Dimensions:
2.875” h X 2.4375” w

Made ca. 1930-1942, this small jar has a large visual impact. The polychromatic design is carefully composed and fits the jar well. Nampeyo smoothed out the clay coils with her fingers and these striations can be seen and felt on the interior of the jar.

Although painted by a daughter, the painting reflect several of Nampeyo’s iconic design elements: There is a tension between several horizontal linear elements and the curvilinear red elements; negative space is used to highlight the design; and the rim has the thick-above-thin framing lines Nampeyo used on her bowls. The “Nampeyo” signature is similar to those on other pots believed to have been painted (and signed) by Fannie. (See “Nampeyo” in the Artist List.) As on 2001-07 by Fannie, the black is inky-dark and the red clear and uniform.

Purchase History:
Purchased on 2/14/10 on eBay. The seller, Darlene Thompson of Minnesota, writes that she purchased pot 2010-05 in August 2009 and “it was in the collection of Patricia Rason, Grabd Ave., St. Paul, MN. We had someone we know, who is an expert in Native American collectables look at the pot. (He said) the signature matches Adelle Nampeyo…(the pot was) probably made in the 30’s or 40’s…” The estimate of the age seems correct, though Adelle was born in 1959 and the painting does not look like her work. Once I held 2010-05 in my hands and was confident of its pedigree, I wrote Dar offering to send her an additional check that better reflected my sense of the pot’s worth. She declined the offer.