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!