2007-10 Bowl with Checkered Rim and Powerful Curvilinear Design

Object ID:
2007-10

Artist:
Unknown

Culture:
Hopi-Tewa

Dimensions:
3.75" h X 5.56" w

The pot might be circa 1930s to 1950s, though this is just a guess. This pot has triangular bands of crosschecking below the rim and three avian designs below, which curve towards the bottom. The formation of the bowl is not particularly well done; the jar does not sit evenly. It is the design that is exceptional.

The linear precision of the checkered design around the upper portion of the jar draws the eye to the right and is juxtaposed by the curvilinear sweep of the design below, which has a leftward thrust. That combination gives the pot great energy. Similarly, the detailed, busy, checkered design contrasts with the blushed unpainted portions on the bottom of the pot.

While there is no suggestion that Nampeyo was the maker, the design of this pot uses many of the stylistic elements that were characteristic of “the Old Lady”—specifically the tension between linear and curvilinear elements and the use of unpainted surface to frame the design. Much of the beauty of the pot is not readily visible when it is at rest; the pot needs to be lifted and examined from below to be fully appreciated. (As the late Hopi jeweler Charles Lomma noted, much of the beauty of this world is hidden.)

Purchase History:
Purchased on 7/4/07 on eBay from Jeff King of Alamogordo, NM. It had “been in the consignor’s family for at least 70 years….Her grandfather collected many Indian artifacts in Southern Kansas during the 1920s-30s by trading with local Native Americans and during his travels throughout the southwest.”