ROSALIE KAYE (?–?)
HOPI COWBOY HAT circa 1965
You might wonder why an unashamed, half-century old, tourist piece warrants one of our special-interest green dots. This does for several reasons. When we saw it for sale, our first thought was, here's a new piece, and nobody's made these for years. When we didn't recognize the name, we thought it must be by a new potter, but what young potter who's so proficient in the old disciplines of polishing, painting and firing would waste his or her skills on a cowboy hat? The more we looked at this, we realized it wasn't just well made, it was masterfully made. Then we looked up "R. Kaye" in Schaaf, and the book answered a lot of questions. It gave us her first name and told us she was active "1950–1980 (?)." That pretty much explains why she made it. Back in that time, these cowboy hats were still popular, We show an earlier one on page 75 of our Second Edition of Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni. Schaaf's book also answered another of our questions. Normally truly expert pieces come from established pottery families, and we learned that Rosalie Kaye is Lawrence Namoki's mother—the same Lawrence Namoki that one writer called "the most successful Hopi potter living today." In its unassuming way, this is an exceptional piece.
4" long x 3-1/2" wide x 1-1/4" high
Condition immaculate, surprising for its age