Martinez, Maria – Red Plate with Great Bird Designs “Marie + Julian” (1920’s)
This is an unusual red plate by Maria Martinez and her husband, Julian Martinez. Maria would make the pottery and Julian would paint the design. The plate is very highly polished and painted with a matte layer of clay on the red surface. Interestingly, while the black-on-black style was created around 1919-20, the redware was not introduced until around 1925. This plate is painted with a classic San Ildefonso pair of “Great Birds”. The head of the bird is the swirl with the feathers extending backward and there is a feather painted on the head. It is a striking and complex design. The coloration and style of the plate indicate it was probably made in the late 1920s. The plate is fully polished on the front and back. It is signed on the back in the clay, “Marie + Julian”. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.