Martinez, Santana – Jar with Avanyu and Lid (1950s)
This is an early piece by Santana Martinez. The jar is a classic shape with a wide shoulder and a short neck. It is very highly polished and painted with an avanyu that encircles the entire piece. The jar has a lid with cloud and rain designs. both the lid and the jar are fired to a near gunmetal coloration. The bottom of the lid has a “V” incised into the clay. That matches up with a “V” on the bottom of the jar as to which way the lid fits. The bottom of the jar has an indented base and it is signed in the clay, “Santana”. The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. The signature on this jar has a very interesting story. I asked Richard Spivey about it years ago and he said that when Santana first began to make pottery she signed her pieces “Santana”. However, Santana Melchor from Santo Domingo Pueblo was also signing hers “Santana”. So, Santana decided that she needed to sign her pieces differently so that there would not be any confusion. The result was the “Santana and Adam” signature, which they continued to use throughout their careers. This jar is definitely a fascinating piece of history!