Hopi Polacca Bowl with Eagle Tail Design by Nampeyo, c.1880s updated
This exceptional jar showcases an early version of Nampeyo's well-known eagle tail design. Later, Nampeyo (1856-1942) perfected this design. The eagle tail design, with talons and beaks coming off the sides of eagle tail feathers dropping down, decorates many of her pieces, and to this day, it is one of the most popular designs in the Nampeyo family canon. This version of the eagle tail design has checkerboard patterned feathers, rather than the later eagle tail feathers that are more traditional and reminiscent of Sikyatki pottery. The mouth of the jar has a red square framing it, which is also present in later iterations of the eagle tail design. The jar dates to the 1880s, when Nampeyo was working in her Polacca slip, and being highly experimental with both her forms and her designs as she learned to be a better potter and artist. This jar was formerly in the collection of Forrest Fenn, the famous Santa Fe art dealer and author. The jar measures 4 3/4" height and 7 7/8" diameter, and is in excellent, original condition.