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Martinez, Maria – Large Plate with San Ildefonso Birds (1920’s)

This is an extraordinary large plate by Maria Martinez and her husband, Julian.  Maria would make the pottery and Julian would paint the design.  The unique aspects of this piece are the size and the design.  Many of their early plates were under 12″ diameter, as they were less likely to break in the firing.  As well, this design is one which is an early pattern and one which was very rarely used in their pottery.  The design is a series of three San Ildefonso birds.  The heads are near the rim and the wings are extending backwards with the triangle in the center making up their legs.  However, as a whole pattern, it has a beautiful flow and dynamic appearance.  The “wings” on this piece are a design which in Richard Spivey’s book, “The Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez”, it is identified as an “avanyu” (see last photo).  However, I spoke at length with a San Ildefonso potter about this particular design and he explained how it was a bird and that it is a design often seen around the Pueblo.  To have his input gives an important addition of cultural knowledge about these pieces!  As for the plate, it is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There are some light surface scratches which are not unexpected in a piece from this time period.  The plate is signed on the back in the clay, “Marie + Julian”.  In terms of the photos, I tried to take them at different angles and different lighting to reveal both design and condition.  The curve of the plate makes it difficult but I think if you view the various photos it is possible to have a good idea of the overall condition.   This is definitely one of those exciting pieces by Maria & Julian Martinez which rarely come around to the marketplace!

To learn more about Maria’s signatures, click here.

$ 6,800.00
Martinez, Maria – Bowl with Mesa & Prayer Feather Design “Marie + Julian” (1920’s)

This bowl by Maria Martinez is a classic of her early pottery from the late 1920’s.  It was made and polished by Maria and then painted by her husband, Julian Martinez (1897-1943).  The bowl is Maria’s classic rounded shoulder shape and the entire piece is fully stone polished, including the base.  The design around the sides is painted with a mesa and a prayer feather pattern. The prayer feathers are held in the hands of Pueblo dancers and are often depicted as a series of triangles one on top of the other.  The bowl is very highly polished and was fired to a gunmetal appearance. This metallic or “gunmetal” was achieved by the heat of the firing and note how the coloration changes as the bowl is turned!  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay,  “Marie + Julian”.  The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There is one small rub below the shoulder but very little wear on the polished bottom, which is unusual, as one might expect more wear just from moving the bowl around over the past 100 years!

Maria Martinez Signatures

$ 2,200.00
Martinez, Maria – Jar with Plant Design “Marie + Julian” (1930’s)

This jar by Maria Martinez is a classic of her early pottery from the late 1930’s.  It was made and polished by Maria and then painted by her husband, Julian Martinez (1897-1943).  The jar has a distinctive form with a sharp shoulder and a sloping neck.  The design is a plant pattern which extends up from the shoulder to the neck.  The bowl is highly polished and fired a deep black.  It is signed, “Marie + Julian” on the bottom.  The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There is one small rub below the shoulder and a small pre-firing indention on the shoulder (last photo).

To learn more about Maria’s signatures, click here.

$ 1,800.00
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