LENA CHARLIE (1908?–1978)
HOPI POLYCHROME TULIP VASE circa 1935
It's difficult finding much hard data about Lena Chio Charlie. We know she was probably in Nampeyo's family, and it's written that she painted for Nampeyo late in her life. Even her birth date is questionable. It's been published to be as early as 1888, and the 1908 figure is an expert's best guess based on her marriage dates. One authoritative account places her as Nampeyo's niece, another suggests that she was Nampeyo's granddaughter and still another reference puts her in a different family. One thing we know for sure: she was one of those Hopi potters who signed with a symbol, and her corncob identifies her pieces. No matter where she fits in family trees, Lena was an important potter, and this offers an opportunity to have a good period piece by a major player. The good news is that we got lucky at an auction, so can offer it at a below-market price.
4-1/2" diameter x 6-1/2" high
Condition quite good considering its age