Blackware Plate with Feather Designs signed Maria / Popovi [SOLD]


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Maria Martinez and Popovi Da, San Ildefonso Potters

This blackware plate was made in the late 1950s by Maria Martinez and Popovi Da. When making collaborative pieces like this, Popovi handled the painted designs and Maria made the vessels. This plate displays the classic San Ildefonso feather design, circling the plate in a wide band. The feathers, remarkably, are nearly identical in shape and size despite having been painted by hand.

With this piece, Maria and Popovi offered a wonderful example of a style that has been widely celebrated for many years. Maria's small plate is perfectly round and quite nicely balanced, Popovi's painted designs were executed with style and precision, and the highly polished interior slip shines beautifully.

Artists' signatures of Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond Lily and Popovi Da (1922-1971) Red Fox San Ildefonso Pueblo PottersThis plate is signed Maria Popovi. It does not have a date, which means that it was made in the period before Popovi added dates—between 1956-1959. A black stand is included for display.

Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond Lily and Popovi Da (1922-1971) Red Fox were influential San Ildefonso Pueblo artists. Starting in 1956, Maria's son, Popovi Da, began collaborating with his mom on her pottery, and the two worked together until his death in 1971. It was his intent to assist his mother and not to take away from her attention that kept him from making much pottery on his own. It is rare to find pieces signed solely "Popovi", without Maria's name too. According to Spivey, the first piece of pottery made solely by Popovi and signed only with his name appeared in 1962. Anita, Popovi's wife, said that Popovi would have made more pottery if he had had more time, but he was a pueblo governor, a leader of the tribe, a father, was running a store at the pueblo and painting pottery for his mom. He also dug clay for his mom when Adam was not available.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Blackware Plate with Feather Designs signed Maria / Popovi is from a private collection

Recommended Reading: The Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez by Richard L. Spivey

TAGS: Pueblo PotterySan Ildefonso PuebloPopovi DaSantana and Adam MartinezJulian MartinezMaria MartinezAnitaSantana

Alternate side view of this pottery plate.

Maria Martinez and Popovi Da, San Ildefonso Potters
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