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San Ildefonso

Early San Ildefonso Innovators

San Ildefonso Pueblo In 1900 was a small village with only 30 households. Pueblo pottery production had greatly declined in its creation for utilitarian purposes and in the 1910 census there were only eight women who were potters by occupation. Around this time, ethnographers such as Kenneth Chapman and Edgar Hewitt began to encourage potters at San Ildefonso and other pueblos to revive this dying art form. Those who were already making pottery were encouraged to examine prehistoric vessels and revive this imagery.

These designs along with imagery form other historic pottery was used as a foundation for this revival by Pueblo pottery innovators.

Around 1919-1920, Maria Martinez and her husband Julian Martinez discovered/invented the now classic style of black-on-black pottery. Despite the folk lore that it was a secretive process, they quickly shared the information about how to make this style of pottery and it revolutionized the economy and life of the pueblo. It was an exciting time for the potters. They had an entirely new process for making pottery, new designs, new information and a newly developing market for their folk art pottery in places such as Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. It was in this period of the 1920’s to about 1940 that the potters were unencumbered by “tradition” and looked beyond the Pueblos for inspiration. The result was amazing originality in the designs and shapes of their pottery.

In the Pueblos at this time, women would typically make and polish the pottery, while the men would paint the designs on the Mapsurface. While Maria and Julian excelled as potters and promoters and eventually became world famous, other potters such asSusana Aguilar, Ramona Gonzales and Tonita Roybal were all vital to the rapidly changing pottery movement. In the 1930’s the pottery of San Ildefonso would change further as a few men married women from other Pueblos. These women brought a new dimension to the work already being created. Rose Gonzales (San Juan), Rosalie Aguilar (Picuris) and Juanita Gonzales(Taos) were among the first potters to begin carving into the clay to create their designs instead of painting imagery on the surface. They added another dimension to what could be done with the clay and created a stylistic change which still reverberates through the pottery market.

While there was vibrancy to this period of work it did not last long. The Great Depression of the 1930’s and World War II reduced the demand for pottery which had been growing throughout the 1920s. Many of these remarkable potters and painters passed away by the late 1940’s and many of their original shapes and designs disappeared from memory. It would be the next generation of potters starting in the 1950’s, and especially the 1960’s, who would look to Maria Martinez, the one constant for nearly a century, as the bridge between the first pottery revival and arrival of Pueblo pottery as a fine art. But for this next generation, the innovation and experimentation of their parents and grandparents would now be viewed as the traditions of the past.

Click here to read more!

https://kinggalleries.com/san-ildefonso-pottery-innovators/

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Roybal, Tonita – Carved Jar with Avanyu (late 1930’s)

This is one of the few carved pieces we have ever seen by Tonita Roybal.  She is one of the great innovative names in San Ildefonso pottery.  This jar is carved with an avanyu around the body of the piece.  The avanyu is polished while the red of the jar is matte red.  What makes this piece so exceptional is the bottom, which has one of the Santa Fe Indian Market stickers, which they began using in 1936!  It is also signed, “Tonita” in the clay on the bottom.  It is overall in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair and certainly one of the most unique pieces of her pottery we have seen.  It’s exciting to see that she excelled in both carved and painted pottery!

Click here to learn more about the Early San Ildefonso Innovators!

$ 2,800.00
Pena, Juanita – Red Carved Bowl with Avanyu (1930’s)

This wide shoulder bowl by Juanita Pena is from the 1930’s and it is carved with an avanyu as the design.  Juanita and Tony Pena had a particular style to their avanyu with the triangular eye.  As well, the carving was more in the “cameo” style, as note that the avanyu is in raised relief. It is the small details which are so striking on their work, such as the polished rim and the polish at the base of the bowl.  It is signed, “Juanita, San Ildefonso” and it is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 850.00
Gonzales, Ramona Sanchez – Red Jar with Carved Avanyu (1930’s)

This is a certainly a later jar by Ramona Gonzales.  Ramona was known for her delicately painted pottery.  This is one of the only carved pieces of her pottery we have seen. The avanyu is carved in a cameo style, much like that of Rose Gonzales.  Note how the clouds extend down from the neck and the complexity of the head of the avanyu.  It is an exceptional piece by Ramona.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Ramona”.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There is some wear on the surface. This is definitely a significant and rare piece of her pottery.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 1,800.00
Sanchez, Desideria – Large Jar with Cloud and Wind Patterns (1920’s)

Desideria Montoya Sanchez was a sister of noted potter Maria Martinez.  She was known for her traditional pottery and use of both classic and innovative designs. This tall jar is a shape that was used by both her and Maria during the 1920’s.  It is a tall shaped jar with a high shoulder.  The jar here is highly polished and has a cloud design painted around the neck and then additional rain and wind designs around the shoulder.  The painted designs here are so bold that they give a very modernistic appearance to the jar. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Desideria”.

$ 2,000.00
Pena, Isabel – Red & Tan Carved Plate with Avanyu (1930’s)

Isabel Pena was one of the early San Ildefonso potters. This is one of her few carved pieces. It is most likely that she made the plate and then it was carved by her daughter, Terasita.  The style of carving is similar to that of her daughter.  The front of the plate is polished red and carved with an avanyu.  The interior carved area is filled in with the a cream colored clay. The back of the plate is also fully polished and it is tan.  The plate is signed on the back in the clay, “Isabel”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  Isabel Pena was a granddaughter of Cipriana Pena and a daughter of Tonita Pena (ca 1847-1910) who was known for making large storage vessels. Isabel was the wife of Pasqual Martinez. She was also the mother of noted potters Terasita Martinez and Petronella Martinez. Her great-grandson, Elvis Torres continues to make pottery today.

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 650.00
Pena, Juanita – Black Carved Bowl with Avanyu (1930’s)

This wide shoulder bowl by Juanita Pena is from the 1930’s and it is carved with an avanyu as the design.  Juanita and Tony Pena had a particular style to their avanyu with the triangular eye.  As well, the carving was more in the “cameo” style, as note that the avanyu is in raised relief. It is the small details which are so striking on their work, such as the polished rim and the polish at the base of the bowl.  It is signed, “Tony + Juanita, San Ildefonso” and it is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

 

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 950.00
Gonzales, Juanita – Red Bowl with Mountain and Rainbow Design (1930’s)

This bowl is one of the very few red pieces we have seen by Juanita Gonzales.  It is carved with the cameo style which Juanita learned from Rose Gonzales.  It has a mountain carved with a step design and the arch above is the rainbow. The bowl is highly polished and the red is a deep coloration.  The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.    The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Juanita”.   It is great to find one of their red pieces in such wonderful condition!

Click here to read more about the “Early San Ildefonso Innovators”

$ 600.00
Martinez, Terasita & Juan – Large Bowl with Carved Avanyu (1930’s)

This is a fascinating bowl by Terasita Martinez.  She was a daughter of noted potter Isabel Pena. She married Juan Martinez in 1933 and they often worked together on pottery. She also helped her mother with the carving on her pottery.  Terasita’s pottery is very distinctive with the reverse carved style of avanyu.  As well, she had such a short lifespan that she did not make that much pottery, and even less of it seems to have survived over time.  Interestingly, we see have come across pieces of her pottery mis-attributed to “Terasita Naranjo”.  However, the carving style  and designs are completely different. This jar is signed, “Terasita & Juan”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 900.00
Roybal, Tonita – Water Jar with Avanyu Design (1920’s)

Tonita Roybal is one of the great innovative names in San Ildefonso pottery.  This is a classic shape for Tonita, with the low, round shoulder and the turned out rim.  What is unusual is the use of the avanyu or water serpent, as the design.  She painted a variety of designs, but very rarely depicted the water serpent on her pottery. The jar here is fired to a near gunmetal finish and  it is delicately painted and beautifully polished.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tonita”  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

Click here to learn more about the Early San Ildefonso Innovators!

$ 2,400.00
Roybal, Tonita – Terraced Bowl with Cloud Designs (1920’s)

Tonita Roybal is one of the great innovative names in San Ildefonso pottery.  This is an extraordinary piece of her pottery.  It is one of her few terraced bowls.  They step shape in the form is representative of mountains. Both the inside and the outside are painted with very fine cloud and rain patterns.  The painting is simply exquisite!  The bowl is fully polished on the inside and outside.  It is in exceptional condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  On the bottom is the original sticker with her name and you can just see a bit of her signature.  I didn’t want to remove the sticker (which has probably been there for 90 years!) and risk damaging the signature or bottom.  However, it is one of her most unique and special forms.  Outstanding!

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

 

 

$ 2,200.00
Pena, Isabel – Jar with Step Pattern and Lid

Isabel Pena was one of the early San Ildefonso potters. This is an exceptional jar by Isabel Pena.  It is one of the only lidded pieces of hers we have come across.  The jar is painted with a mountain step pattern and the lid is also painted.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Isabel”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  Isabel Pena was a granddaughter of Cipriana Pena and a daughter of Tonita Pena (ca 1847-1910) who was known for making large storage vessels. Isabel was the wife of Pasqual Martinez. She was also the mother of noted potters Teresita Martinez and Petronella Martinez. Her great-grandson, Elvis Torres continues to make pottery today.

 

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 800.00
Gonzales, Rayita – Carved Jar with Avanyu (1930’s)

Rayita Gonzales was a sister of Louis  “Wo-Peen” Gonzales and Raymoncita Gonzales.  She did not make much pottery but it was mostly during the 1930’s. This carved jar is an excellent example of her pottery with a carved water serpent encircling the jar. The style of her carving is very distinctive and especially on the neck with the carving of the lightning and clouds into the negative space.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Rayita”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

 

 

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 850.00
Martinez, Maxamiliana “Anna” – Large Bowl with Water Designs (1930’s)

This is a large bowl by Maximiliana “Anna” Martinez, who was a sister of Maria Martinez.   It is fully polished and painted with water designs around the shoulder. The bowl itself has great coloration with areas which are nearly gunmetal.  The painting is fluid around the entire piece.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Anna”.

Click here for more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators!

$ 1,500.00
Aguilar, Susana -Bowl with Avanyu (1920’s)

This is a very distinctive bowl by Susana Aguilar.  The piece is from the 1920’s and it is fully polished and fired to a near gunmetal appearance.  The style of her avanyu is very distinctive with the shape of the horn and the way she painted the mouth. The avanyu of her son, Joe Aguilar, is in very much the same style.  The shape of the bowl is also very classic for her work, with thin walls and a very flat top after the curve of the shoulder.  The bottom of the bowl is also fully polished.  It is signed on the bottom  in the clay, “Susana”. The bowl is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It has some scratches on the rim.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 875.00
Roybal, Tonita – Bowl with Fineline Mountain and Plant Designs (1920’s)

Tonita Roybal is one of the great innovative names in San Ildefonso pottery.  This has long been one of my favorite bowls by Tonita.  The shape is perfect with the sharp shoulder and sloping angle.  The design is boldly painted with a mountain pattern which has lines painted in the center.  There are additional small plant designs.  Like much of her work, it is the gunmetal coloration, achieve during the heat of the firing, which gives the bowl its dynamic appearance.  The silver surface above the shoulder accentuate the design and give it a dynamic appearance. The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tonita”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

 

 

 

$ 1,800.00
Roybal, Tonita -Tall Red Jar with Feather Designs (Late 1930’s)

Tonita Roybal is one of the great innovative names in San Ildefonso pottery.  This is simply a classic long neck jar by Tonita.  The jar is a shape which is visually associated with her pottery. The high shoulder, the elongated neck define the elegance of the shape. The entire piece is fully polished red. The designs are red-on-red with a striking feather pattern separated by a bird tail design. The painting was done by Juan Cruz Roybal, her husband. There are white clay slip areas along with his signature “dots” and the hatchmarks.  The jar is from the late 1930’s and has the sticker of “approval” used at the Santa Fe Indian Market after 1936.  The jar is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tonita + Juan”.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

 

$ 5,500.00
Martinez, Maxamiliana “Anna” – Red Bowl with Rain Designs (1926)

This is an exceptional bowl by Maximiliana “Anna” Martinez, who was a sister of Maria Martinez.  What makes it exceptional is that is one of her few red pieces.  It is also very early for redware. The bowl was deacessioned from the Denver Art Museum, and it was originally acquired there in 1926.  The original catalog number and date are on the bottom!  Consider that Carl Guthe writes that it was only in 1925 that San Ildefonso potters began making redware and one realizes how significant this piece is as a historical marker!  The bowl is painted red-on-red with a rain and cloud design.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Anna”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 900.00
Roybal, Tonita – Jar with Handles and Lightning Designs (1930’s)

Tonita Roybal is one of the great innovative names in San Ildefonso pottery.  This amazing long neck jar is simply one of the most unique we have had of her pieces.  The jar has a long neck and two handles on the side.  The neck of the jar is painted by Juan and has a angular lightning pattern. There is also his signature hatchmark designs on the jar.  The handles are also painted with design! However, what makes the jar so dynamic is the gunmetal coloration to the firing.  It is seems to have a glow from within with the overall metallic appearance.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tonita + Juan”.   It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

 

 

$ 3,000.00
Aguilar, Susana – Large Plate with Butterfly Design (1920’s)

It is not often that we see such a large plate by Susana Aguilar.  This is a striking piece of her pottery from the 1920’s.  It is as much an open bowl as a large plate. The front is slipped and highly polished while the back is wet polished.  The design is very intricately painted with a butterfly or moth as the design.  Interestingly, the word for both “moth” and “butterfly” is the same in Tewa (Thanks for the info Russell!!).  The design combines geometric and fine line elements. The butterfly shape can be seen with antennae at the top, the wings at the side.  I took a variety of different angles for the photos to show off both the polish and the design. The plate is signed on the back in clay slip, “Susanna”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 2,400.00
Pena, Isabel – Large Jar with Snow Patterns

Isabel Pena was one of the early San Ildefonso potters. This is one of the largest of her black-on-black bowls we have seen. It  has a snow pattern as the design.  It is a complex pattern that encompasses the surface of the jar.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Isabel Pena”.  It is in good condition with no cracks, restoration or repair.  There are a few little rubs and a small chip on the inside of the rim.  Isabel Pena was a granddaughter of Cipriana Pena and a daughter of Tonita Pena (ca 1847-1910) who was known for making large storage vessels. Isabel was the wife of Pasqual Martinez. She was also the mother of noted potters Teresita Martinez and Petronella Martinez. Her great-grandson, Elvis Torres continues to make pottery today.

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 600.00
Gonzales, Juanita – Large Bowl with Carved Rain Designs (1930’s)

This bowl is one of the larger bowls we have had  by Juanita and Wo-Peen Gonzales.  It is carved with the cameo style which Juanita learned from Rose Gonzales.  It has a flowing design on the shoulder with rain and lightning designs separated by mountains.  The carving is deep and perfectly fits the shape of the bowl.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.    The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Juanita”.   It is great to find one of their pieces in such wonderful condition!

Click here to read more about the “Early San Ildefonso Innovators”

$ 1,200.00
Martinez, Maria – Polychrome Plate with Butterfly Design (1920’s)

This small plate by Maria Martinez is one of the few polychrome pieces by Maria Martinez and her husband, Julian. The plate is from the early 1920’s and it is painted with a butterfly design on the front. The center of the butterfly has a lightning bolt painted.  It is perfectly painted and fired. The plate is signed on the back on the rim “Marie”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

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

$ 2,300.00
Gonzales, Ramona Sanchez – Red Bowl with Rain Patterns (late 1920’s)

This is an early red-on-red painted bowl by Ramona Gonzales.  Ramona was known for her delicately painted pottery.  It was only after 1925 that red pottery appeared at San Ildefonso Pueblo. This bowl is a classic shape and beautifully painted. There are such delicate fine lines to the rain and cloud pattern.  The bowl is signed, “Ramona” on the bottom in the clay.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There is some wear on the surface. However, still a fascinating historic piece.

Click here to learn more about the Early San Ildefonso Innovators!

$ 800.00
Gonzales, Ramona Sanchez – Red Jar with Snake Handles (1930’s)

This is an extraordinary jar by Ramona Gonzales.  Ramona was known for her delicately painted pottery.   Not only is this jar red, but it also has handles in the shape of snakes!  It is an exceptional jar with beautifully painted cloud and rain designs. The imagery is outlined in white and then slipped with a red clay slip.  Each of the snakes has just a small bit of design on their backs.  It is fascinating to see such an early San Ildefonso jar with figurative aspects!  Ramona was amazingly innovative for the time!  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Ramona”.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks.  There was restoration on one of the snake heads.  There is some light wear on the surface. This is definitely a significant and rare piece of her pottery.

Click here to learn more about the Early San Ildefonso Innovators!

$ 2,000.00
Martinez, Maria – Red Carved Bowl with Avanyu (1930’s), Maria/Julian

This is an exceptional carved bowl by Maria Martinez and her husband, Julian.  Maria would make the pottery and Julian would paint, or in this case, carve, the design.  While he did a variety of carved pieces, this is one of the only ones we have seen with a water serpent (avanyu) as the design! The avanyu encircles the shoulder of the bowl.  Note how it is carved into the negative space, while most other potters carved away around the avanyu, leaving it the polished relief section.  The bowl is from the 1930’s and it is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Marie + Julian”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

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

$ 4,800.00
Pena, Juanita – Polychrome Plate with Bird (1938)

This is a very unusual plate by Juanita Pena is from the 1930’s. It is polished and polychrome with a bird as the design.  The bird is a combination of black mineral slip and a red slip.  The back of the plate is signed, “Juanita P.”. While it should be an easy piece to attribute to Juanita Pena, Russell Sanchez told me that Juanita Pena never made polychrome pottery and he thinks the “P” after the name is not a letter.  So, if not then the plate would be by Juanita Gonzales.  I does strike me a bit more like Juanita Pena’s style of design.  Either way, there are very few polychrome pieces in general by this time. The piece was deacquisitioned by a museum and its original acquisition date was 1938.  Either Gonzales or Pena, it is a charming piece!

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 400.00
Martinez, Maxamiliana “Anna” – Black-on-Red Bowl with Sun and Rainbow (1920’s)

This is a striking wide bowl by Maximiliana “Anna” Martinez, who was a sister of Maria Martinez.  It is one of her few black-on-red pieces.  The jar has a sun design (the center checkerboard) with a rainbow pattern above and an overall tablita appearance.  The shape is a classic one for Anna with a wide sharp shoulder.  The red is a very deep coloration on this bowl and the painting creative in style   It is unsigned but easy to attribute to Anna.   It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 3,800.00
Roybal, Tonita – Black-on-Red Bowl with Mountain & Cloud Designs (1932)

It is very rare that we come across a black-on-red piece by Tonita Roybal.  This bowl is an early piece from the 1920’s.  Tonita and her mother, Dominguita Pino, were both very well known for their black-on-red pottery before the advent of the black-on-black pottery in 1920.  This bowl has beautifully painted designs in the band around the shoulder.  There are mountain, cloud and rain patterns.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tonita”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. This bowl has exceptional provenance.  It was part of the original collection of Dick Howard and featured in the booklet published on her pottery.  It also has the original Indian Market sticker for 1932!  Amazing!  This is definitely a piece of history, as much as piece of art!

$ 5,500.00
Montoya, Florentino & Martina – Large Fineline Jar (1905-10)

This is an extraordinary large jar by Florentino & Martina Montoya from around 1910.  Johnathan Batkin wrote about them, “The pottery of this husband and wife team is that of artist and innovators who introduced new materials and techniques to other potters. Martina’s experimentation with shapes and slips, and Florintino’s distinctive painting style facilitate the identification of many of their pots. [They] were active during a period of change in San Ildefonso pottery.”  I have included them in our “Early San Ildefonso Innovators” Show as they are the precursors to the changes and innovations in the 1920’s.  Looking at this jar, is is inspiring in the size, shape and designs.  The jar is thin walled and perfectly formed.  However, as with much of the San Ildefonso pottery, it is the shape which is so extraordinary.  The varied designs as the jar is turned is a hallmark of Florentino. The fineline hatchmark patterns along with the delicate plant swirls are almost unexpected on this large jar.  There is so little repetition that each quarter turn seems to evoke a new jar.  It was pottery like this jar which inspired these Early San Ildefonso Innovators.  Maria and other noted that Florentino was one of the finest painters they knew. His early passing during the influenza epidemic, along with so many others, changed the world of San Ildefonso.  This jar is unsigned but easily attributed to Florentino and Martina by shape and design.  I’ve been pleased that numerous other experts, beyond myself (I won’t claim extensive expertise here) all agree that this is one of their classic and more refined vessels.  It is in very good condition with no cracks, restoration or repair.  There are few small rim chips, but nothing unexpected with its age or size.  Simply said, historically important and a classic!

Click here to read more about the “Early San Ildefonso Innovators”

$ 15,000.00
Gonzales, Ramona Sanchez – Plate with Bird Design (1920’s)

This is a striking painted bowl by Ramona Gonzales.  Ramona was known for her delicately painted pottery.  This plate is almost more like an open bowl.  It is fully polished on the front and back. The design has a bird which fills up the entire surface of the plate.  The polished background and matte painted designs work perfectly on this piece.  It is signed on the back in the clay, “Ramona”.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There is some wear on the surface. This is definitely an important piece of her pottery.

Click here to learn more about the Early San Ildefonso Innovators!

$ 1,400.00
Martinez, Maxamiliana “Anna” – Black-on-Red Jar with Tablita Design Figure (1920’s)

This is a striking wide bowl by Maximiliana “Anna” Martinez, who was a sister of Maria Martinez.  It is one of her few black-on-red pieces.  The jar has a sun design (the center checkerboard) with a rainbow pattern above and an overall tablita appearance.  The shape is a classic one for Anna with a wide sharp shoulder.  The red is a very deep coloration on this bowl and the painting creative in style   It is unsigned but easy to attribute to Anna.  But more to the point on the attribution I looked at several signed pieces I had in the past by Anna and compared the angle of the base (when it is in the puki) and the angle of the sides.  The puki used and shapes are typically individual to each artist.  Note the last photo with this jar by Anna on one side and a black-on-black signed piece by her on the right.  It is then easier to see how this is one of the shapes she created for her pottery.  This wide bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

Special Thanks to Russell Sanchez for his identification of designs and also working on the attribution for this bowl with me.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 3,600.00
Aguilar, Rosalie & Joe – Plate with Bird Designs (1920’s)

Rosalie and Joe Aguilar created some exceptional pottery during brief career working together.  It is often their plates which are the most visually striking and complex of their work.  This plate is a complicated and fascinating design. There are two avanyu heads on either side where the circle is the eye and each has an elongated tongue. They are connected with a water design and the step pattern is the mountain. The “x” design in the center is the turkey track.  The fineline checkerboard areas area exceptionally well painted.  The piece has a very modern appearance with the placement of the imagery yet it is one from the 1920’s.  This plate is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or  repair.  There are a few light surface scratches.  It is signed on the back, “Rosalie + Joe”.

Click here to read more about the “Early San Ildefonso Innovators”

$ 1,200.00
Atencio, GIlbert – Red Jar with Feather & Rain Pattern

Gilbert Atencio is a name synonymous with classic two-dimensional style paintings at San Ildefonso Pueblo.  He is undoubtedly one of the most famous of the painters yet he also made a few pieces of pottery throughout his career.  Gilbert was a son of Isabel Montoya Atencio and a nephew of Maria Martinez.  His sister Helen Gutierrez was a well known potter.  This jar has a classic feel to the shape and it is highly polished red.  The design around the neck is a feather pattern with a stylized mountain steppe design separating the sections.  Around the shoulder are checkerboard painted panels and rain designs.  The style and placement of the imagery has a very planned appearance and works perfectly with the shape of the jar.  It is painted with the traditional cream colored clay on the red polished surface. The jar is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  This is certainly a dramatic piece and exciting to see one of the few pieces he made during his career

$ 1,200.00
Naranjo, Florence Aguilar – Polychrome Jar with Cloud, Rain and Snow Designs (1950s’)

Florence Naranjo is a daughter of noted potters Rosalie & Joe Aguilar and a granddaughter of Susana Aguilar.  This is one of her few polychrome pieces of pottery. The jar is fully painted with black and red rain, cloud and snow patterns on a cream background.  The jar is a classic San Ildefonso water jar shape.  It is signed on the bottom, “Florence Naranjo”.  It is good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

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$ 400.00
Roybal, Juan Cruz – Bowl with Lightning Designs (1940’s)

Juan Cruz Roybal is one of the great painters in San Ildefonso pottery.  He worked on pottery with his wife, Tonita, and often painted for other potters after her death in 1945.  Juan was known for his very distinctive style of painting using fine lines and flowing designs.  This is an unusual bowl which is just signed, “Juan”.  It has his very distinctive style of painting a lightning design.  It may be that he painted on a series of pieces which remained unfinished after the passing of Tonita.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

 

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$ 275.00
Roybal, Juan Cruz – Bowl with Bird Wing Designs (1940’s)

Juan Cruz Roybal is one of the great painters in San Ildefonso pottery.  He worked on pottery with his wife, Tonita, and often painted for other potters after her death in 1945.  Juan was known for his very distinctive style of painting using fine lines and flowing designs.  This is an unusual bowl which is just signed, “Juan”.  It has his very distinctive style of painting with a bird wing pattern.  It may be that he painted on a series of pieces which remained unfinished after the passing of Tonita. It is in good condition with some surface wear but no no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

Click here to learn more about the Early San Ildefonso Innovators!

$ 150.00
Aguilar, Joe – Polychrome Plate with Cloud and Rain Designs (1950’s)

Joe Aguilar began his career painting pottery for his mother, Susana Aguilar,  He also made pottery with his wife, Rosalie, through the 1940’s.  In the 1950’s he created a fascinating group of polychrome pottery including both plates and vessels.  He was one of the few potters at the time still using traditional techniques and designs for his work. This plate is painted in a polychrome style.  The design has cloud patterns in the center and there are asymmetric divisions of the design.  Joe would use uneven patterning with lines to create the overall imagery for his plates. This plate has a “From the Pueblo of San Ildefonso” sticker on the back, which were used in the 1940’s and 50’s.  The plate is in very good condition with no cracks, restoration or repair.  It is unsigned but easily attributable to Joe Aguilar by style of painting.  The plate is accompanied by a letter of attribution..

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 300.00
Montoya, Simona Pena – Wide Bowl with Rain Designs (1920’s)

This is one of the only pieces we have ever seen by Simona Pena Montoya Naranjo (1902-82).  She was a daughter of Juan and Isabelita Pena.  She did not make much pottery and this bowl is from the 1920’s.  The bowl is signed, “Simona M.” and that was during the 1920’s when she was first married.  Her second marriage made her a Naranjo.  The bowl has painted triangular designed around the shoulder.  It is fully polished if a bit heavy to one side.  The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  Definitely a unique piece!

 

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 175.00
Aguilar, Joe – Polychrome Plate with Eagle (1950’s)

Joe Aguilar began his career painting pottery for his mother, Susana Aguilar,  He also made pottery with his wife, Rosalie, through the 1940’s.  In the 1950’s he created a fascinating group of polychrome pottery including both plates and vessels.  He was one of the few potters at the time still using traditional techniques and designs for his work. This plate is painted in a polychrome style.  The design is an eagle. Note the use of the hatchwork on the body of the bird.  The plate is in very good condition with no cracks, restoration or repair.  It is unsigned but easily attributable to Joe Aguilar by style of painting.  The plate is accompanied by a letter of attribution.

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 300.00
Gonzales, Rose – Red Canteen with Cloud & Rain Design (1930’s)

This canteen is an unusual piece by San Ildefono potter Rose Gonzales.  She is often considered the first at San Ildefonso Pueblo to make carved pottery. However, over the course of her career she created a variety of styles including plainware, painted and carved pottery.  This is one of the few canteens we have had of her work and one of her earlier pieces.  It is fully polished red and painted with a red clay slip.  The design is a cloud pattern near the top and a rain and prayer feather pattern below. There is still the original leather cord connected to the stopper!  The piece is signed on the bottom, “Rose” over a red matte clay slip.  This was typical of a lot of potters in the 1930’s and helps to date this piece.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,300.00
Atencio, Isabel – Plainware Black Water Jar

Isabel Atencio was a daughter of Nicolasa Montoya (the aunt who taught Maria Martinez to make pottery) and a sister of Rayita Montoya, Santana Montoya and Alfredo Montoya (the first husband of Tonita Roybal). Among her children Gilbert Atencio is known primarily for is paintings. Her daughters Helen Gutierrez and Angelita Sanchez are both well-known potters.  This is one of her classic water jars, which has been fired black.  It is fully polished to a beautiful shine.  This jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Belle Atencio”.  The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 475.00
Aguilar, Joe – Polychrome Plate with Feather Designs (1950’s)

Joe Aguilar began his career painting pottery for his mother, Susana Aguilar,  He also made pottery with his wife, Rosalie, through the 1940’s.  In the 1950’s he created a fascinating group of polychrome pottery including both plates and vessels.  He was one of the few potters at the time still using traditional techniques and designs for his work. This plate is painted in a polychrome style.  The composition is classic for the Aguilars with fineline patterns breaking up various sections of design.  The designs include rain and eagle tail patterns.  The plate is in very good condition with no cracks, restoration or repair. There are two small areas where the white slip has flaked away.  It is unsigned but easily attributable to Joe Aguilar.  The plate is accompanied by a letter of attribution.

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 350.00
Aguilar, Joe – Whirling Water Design Polychrome Plate (1950’s)

Joe Aguilar began his career painting pottery for his mother, Susana Aguilar,  He also made pottery with his wife, Rosalie, through the 1940’s.  In the 1950’s he created a fascinating group of polychrome pottery including both plates and vessels.  He was one of the few potters at the time still using traditional techniques and designs for his work. This is an exceptional plate painted with polychrome designs. The center is a fineline pattern, which was often seen in the earlier black-on-black pottery. The central medallion then becomes a whirling circle of water with the extensions of the plant designs.  The plate is in very good condition with no cracks, restoration or repair. There are two small areas where the white slip has flaked away.  It is signed on the back, “Joe Aguilar”.

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 1,000.00
Aguilar, Joe – Polychrome Plate with Birds (1950’s)

Joe Aguilar began his career painting pottery for his mother, Susana Aguilar,  He also made pottery with his wife, Rosalie, through the 1940’s.  In the 1950’s he created a fascinating group of polychrome pottery including both plates and vessels.  He was one of the few potters at the time still using traditional techniques and designs for his work. This plate is a very stylized birds as the design.  The style of painting, with the central square and the spiraling designs is very similar to his earlier black-on-black painted pottery. The plate is signed on the back, “Joe Aguilar + Katherine”.  Katherine was his daughter.   It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

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$ 850.00
Atencio, Isabel – Plainware Red Bowl

Isabel Atencio was a daughter of Nicolasa Montoya (the aunt who taught Maria Martinez to make pottery) and a sister of Rayita Montoya, Santana Montoya and Alfredo Montoya (the first husband of Tonita Roybal). Among her children Gilbert Atencio is known primarily for is paintings. Her daughters Helen Gutierrez and Angelita Sanchez are both well-known potters.  This is one of her later plainware vessels. The bowl is highly polished and fired red.  It is a simple piece, but beautifully polished.  Note the bottom has a classic indention and signed, “Isabel” in the clay.  The bowl is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 275.00
Atencio, Isabel & Gilbert Atencio- Buff-on-Red Bowl with Rain Designs

Isabel Atencio was a daughter of Nicolasa Montoya (the aunt who taught Maria Martinez to make pottery) and a sister of Rayita Montoya, Santana Montoya and Alfredo Montoya (the first husband of Tonita Roybal). Among her children Gilbert Atencio is known primarily for is paintings. Her daughters Helen Gutierrez and Angelita Sanchez are both well-known potters.  This is one of her few collaborative pieces with her son, Gilbert. The bowl was made and polished by Isabel and painted by Gilbert.   The design is a plant, rain and mountain pattern.  It is signed, “Belle + Gilbert”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 500.00
Atencio, Isabel – Red Turtle

Isabel Atencio was a daughter of Nicolasa Montoya (the aunt who taught Maria Martinez to make pottery) and a sister of Rayita Montoya, Santana Montoya and Alfredo Montoya (the first husband of Tonita Roybal). Among her children Gilbert Atencio is known primarily for is paintings. Her daughters Helen Gutierrez and Angelita Sanchez are both well-known potters.  This is one of her charming turtle figures.  The back is polished while the remainder of the piece is matte.  It is signed on the bottom, “Belle”.  She signed her work both Isabel and “Belle”.  This piece is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 125.00
Roybal, Tonita – Oval Shallow Bowl with Lightning Designs (1920’s)

This is a charming open bowl by Tonita Roybal, from the 1920’s.  It is either a small plate or a small dish.  It is oval and has a slight rim.  The bowl is painted on the inside with a lightning and cloud pattern.  The piece is polished which creates a strong contrast for the design.  The bowl is signed on the back in the clay, “Tonita”.  It is in very good condition with no cracks, restoration or repair. There are few tiny dings on the rim.  Amazingly, the center of the piece is in excellent condition!

 

$ 675.00
Pena, Isabel – Water Jar with Rain & Mountain Designs (1930’s)

Isabel Pena was one of the early San Ildefonso potters. This bowl is one of her black-on-black pieces.  It is painted with a stylized rain and mountain pattern.  The jar is highly polished and fired to near gunmetal on the surface.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Isabel”.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It has a slight lean to the shape, which might have happened in the firing if it got too so hot that it created the gunmetal surface. Isabel Pena was a granddaughter of Cipriana Pena and a daughter of Tonita Pena (ca 1847-1910) who was known for making large storage vessels. Isabel was the wife of Pasqual Martinez. She was also the mother of noted potters Teresita Martinez and Petronella Martinez. Her great-grandson, Elvis Torres continues to make pottery today.

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 175.00
Pena, Isabel – Bowl with Mountain Designs (1930’s)

Isabel Pena was one of the early San Ildefonso potters. This bowl is one of her black-on-black pieces.  It is painted with a angular mountain pattern.  The bowl is highly polished and boldly painted.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Isabel”.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is slightly off center. Isabel Pena was a granddaughter of Cipriana Pena and a daughter of Tonita Pena (ca 1847-1910) who was known for making large storage vessels. Isabel was the wife of Pasqual Martinez. She was also the mother of noted potters Teresita Martinez and Petronella Martinez. Her great-grandson, Elvis Torres continues to make pottery today.

For more information on the Early San Ildefonso Innovators, Click Here.

$ 100.00
Roybal, Tonita – Gunmetal Fired Jar with Cloud Designs

This is a visually striking jar by Tonita Roybal, from the 1920’s.  The jar was made and painted by Tonita.  It has a wide, round shoulder, and a slight neck. The jar is painted with a series of cloud patterns separated by rain and wind designs.  Note the strength of the painting on the piece and the wide lines, which enhance the design.  While beautifully painted, it is the firing, which gave this jar a very metallic gunmetal appearance.  It is a beautiful surface and great designs. The jar is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom, “Tonita”.

$ 800.00
Roybal, Tonita – Jar with Rain and Cloud Design (1920’s)

Tonita Roybal was known for her creative shapes and designs in the 1920’s.  This jar has a low, round shoulder.  The design has rain, cloud and lightning patterns.  What’s interesting about the design on this piece is how she put the design together. The vertical rain cloud line has a cloud pattern to one side and the lighting design also creates a bird wing pattern.  There is a striking creativity in the overall flow.  The jar is highly polished and traditionally fired.  The jar is from the late 1920’s and signed, “Tonita”.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There is some slight surface wear near one area of the rim and near the base.

$ 1,200.00
Roybal, Tonita – Wide Bowl with Cloud Design (1920’s)

Tonita Roybal was known for her creative shapes and designs in the 1920’s.  This bowl is a simple piece in terms of decoration.  It is fully polished and has a round shoulder and just a slight neck.  The bowl has been very highly fired and has a gunmetal metallic appearance.  The design is a rain pattern (the lines) around the neck of the jar and below are clouds.  The beauty of the bowl is in the colorations from the firing.  The piece is from the late 1920’s and signed, “Tonita”.  It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 800.00
Roybal, Tonita – Jar with Lightning & Bird Feather Design (1920’s)

This is an classic jar by Tonita Roybal, from the 1920’s.  What is most distinctive about this jar is the shape, which Tonita originated, with the very sharp shoulder. The entire bowl is fired and the area from the shoulder to the rim is painted.  The design is a bird feather and lightning design.  There is also a very unusual comb-like pattern, which is meant to represent wind and rain.  The bowl has been traditionally fired outside, so there are color variations from gunmetal to brown. There is a small area of black and brown below the shoulder which is most likely from a piece of wood touching the piece during the firing.  It might also be from the Tonita herself touching the piece with some wood, as early potters would often touch the pots with a stick during the firing to give them character.  Either way it is part of the charm of the firing process.  The bowl is from the late 1920’s and signed, “Tonita”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,100.00
Gonzales, Rose – Tall Jar with Rain and Cloud Patterns

Rose Gonzales is often considered the first at San Ildefonso Pueblo to make carved pottery. However, over the course of her career she created a variety of styles including plainware, painted and carved pottery.  This jar is a very difficult shape with straight sides.  It is painted around the shoulder with a cloud and rain pattern.  At the base is a flower petal design.  The jar is highly polished and fired.  It is in very good condition with no cracks, restoration or repair.  There are some slight surface scratches and dings on the rim.  It is signed, “Rose” on the bottom in the clay.

$ 275.00
Roybal, Josephine – Bowl with Rain Cloud Pattern (1940’s)

Josephine Roybal was a sister of noted potter Santana Martinez.  This bowl is one of the few pieces of her pottery we have come across.  The bowl is fully polished and painted with a cloud and rain design. There is a delicate style of painting to the cloud pattern. The bowl has been fired a deep black with areas of gunmetal appearance near the base.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Josephine Roybal”.  It is very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 400.00
Gonzales, Juanita & Wo-Peen – Bowl with Cloud & Rain Designs

This bowl is by Juanita and Wo-Peen Gonzales.  It is carved with the cameo style which Juanita learned from Rose Gonzales.  It has a complicated design with rain and cloud patterns encircling the bowl.  It is beautifully polished and has deep black coloration.  The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair and some wear near the base.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Juanita Wo-Peen”.   It is great to find one of their pieces in such wonderful condition!

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$ 350.00
Aguilar, Rosalie -Bowl with  Cloud and Rain Designs

Rosalie and Joe Aguilar created some exceptional plates during their brief career working together.  This is one of their carved pieces. It has the “cameo” style of carving which was typical at San Ildefonso in the 1930’s.  The design is carved around the neck of the piece.  It is a cloud and rain design.  The remainder of the bowl is fully polished.  It was fired a dark black but with additional small gunmetal colored areas from the firing..  The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed, “Rosalie + Joe” on the bottom in the clay.

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$ 475.00
Roybal, Tonita – Plate with Prayer Feather & Rain (1920’s)

This is an early plate from Tonita Roybal.  It is fully polished on the front and back of the piece.  The design is a prayer feather pattern which is repeated four times.  Separating the prayer feathers are triangular hatchwork patterns which represent rain. Like much of her work it is traditional imagery put together with a more modern appearance, especially leaving so much open polished space for the design.  The plate is from the mid-1920’s and it is signed on the back in the clay, “Tonita”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 825.00
Gonzales, Juanita – Jar with Rain Design

This small jar is by Juanita Gonzales.  It is highly polished and has a distinctive shape with a sharp shoulder.  The design is painted around the neck of the piece.  While it is a simple design, the shape adds to the complexity of the piece.  The jar is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Juanita”.

$ 125.00
Martinez, Maxamiliana “Anna” – Bird Wing Design Bowl (1920’s)

It is not often that we come across the pottery of Maximiliana “Anna” Martinez, who was a sister of Maria Martinez.  This bowl has a low shoulder and a cloud, rain and bird wing pattern. The design is painted above the shoulder of the piece.  The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, restoration or repair. There are some light surface scratches.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Anna”.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 700.00
Gonzales, Juanita – Carved Jar with Avanyu

This jar by Juanita Gonzales is classic style of their work.  Juanita learned the cameo style of carving from Rose Gonzales.  The neck of the jar is carved with a rain pattern.  The body of the piece has the clay fully carved away to reveal the encircling avanyu.  The style of the avanyu, with the round incised eye, is very similar to that of Rose Gonzales.  The bottom of the jar is matte.  The contrast of the raised polished surfaces and the surrounding matte areas creates a very striking appearance.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Juanita”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 600.00
Martinez, Maxamiliana “Anna” – Jar with Prayer Feather Design (1920’s)

It is not often that we come across the pottery of Maximiliana “Anna” Martinez, who was a sister of Maria Martinez.  This jar is a very round shape with just a slight neck.  The design is a prayer feather pattern which encircles the piece.  The design has a very modern use of the space with lots of open polished surface and lots of thin lines.  The jar is in very good condition with no chips, restoration or repair. There are some light surface scratches and there is a slight lean to the shape.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Anna”.

San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940

$ 950.00
Sanchez, Desideria – Bowl with Bird Wing Motif

Desideria Montoya Sanchez was a sister of noted potter Maria Martinez.  She was known for her traditional pottery and use of both classic and innovative designs. This bowl is painted with a bird wing pattern.  It is interesting that this design has a Hopi-Tewa style appearance to the design.  Many of the early San Ildefonso potters were very interested in the work of Nampeyo of Hano and incorporated Hopi designs into their work.  The imagery was often stylized, such as the feather pattern at the round end of the wing.  The bowl was fired with to a nearly gunmetal appearance.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Desideria”.

$ 800.00
Sanchez, Desideria – Bowl with Cloud & Wind Designs

Desideria Montoya Sanchez was a sister of noted potter Maria Martinez.  She was known for her traditional pottery and use of both classic and innovative designs. This bowl is a round shape and painted with a series of cloud and wind patterns. The thick lines and the style of the imagery give the bowl a s very modern appearance and are certainly unusual in the imagery of San Ildefonso.  The firing of the bowl has given it a somewhat gunmetal appearance in areas.  The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Desideria”.

$ 1,200.00
Sanchez, Desideria – Bowl with Rain Designs

This piece is a classic shape by Desideria Sanchez.  She was a sister of famed potter Maria Martinez.  The bowl has a sharp shoulder and the sloping area to the rim has the painted designs.  The designs are a complicated rain, cloud and wind pattern.  Note the very fine lines used for the painting!  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Desideria”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,500.00
Gonzales, Rose – Jar with Carved Avanyu

Rose Gonzales is often considered the first at San Ildefonso Pueblo to make carved pottery. However, over the course of her career she created a variety of styles including plainware, painted and carved pottery.  This jar is both a classic shape and design.  Rose carved her pottery with a “cameo” style where the design often seems to be carved right at the edge of the shoulder.  Here the water serpent (avanyu) is in that position. The sharp edge of the jar and the long neck are both classics of her form.  The jar is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed, “Rose” on the bottom in the clay.

$ 900.00
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