Roybal, Tonita – Gunmetal 12″ Feather Plate (1920s)
Tonita Roybal remains one of the great innovative names in San Ildefonso pottery. This large plate is fully polished on the front. It has a classic feather design painted in the early style. Note that near the center, the rectangular “vent” of the feather, is in the center. This is an early style and then the rectangular part of the design moved to the side (for easier painting). However, this early style of feather pattern creates exceptional visual symmetry. Note how her feathers are wide and rounded as they spiral out from the center. The plate was fired to a silvery-gunmetal coloration. In the 1920s, Tonita would achieve this coloration by firing her pieces very hot. Today, Russell Sanchez is one of the only potters who is still able to achieve this distinctive coloration in the same manner! Because of the intense heat of the firing, there are a few slight heat-slip cracks in the center, which are not unexpected. Overall, it is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is signed, “Tonita” in the clay on the bottom. The signature indicates it is from the late 1920s. As well, the first plates at San Ildefonso Pueblo were not made until the mid-1920s.
Early San Ildefonso Pottery Innovators -1920-1940