San Ildefonso Polished Blackware Jar signed “Maria Poveka” [SOLD]


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Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

Artist Signature of Maria Poveka Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo PotterThis polished blackware jar was created by San Ildefonso Pueblo artist and matriarch Maria Martinez. The piece is unpainted, and signed Maria Poveka. The signature Maria Poveka on undecorated blackware, according to Richard Spivey, was a signature started in 1956 and abandoned in the mid-1960s, so it lasted only a decade. However, in 1959, Popovi Da started adding a date to the pottery signatures, even those signed Maria Poveka. That fact would shorten the period of undated Maria Poveka pottery to the 1956-1959 dates.

Maria's solo projects are wonderful in their elegance and simplicity. This particular example is small and round, with an open rim that matches the size of the base. Interestingly, the base is slightly concave. The polished surface is exceptionally beautiful; its deep black tone and reflective sheen interact beautifully with the light. While some collectors understandably prefer the more elaborate pieces, we believe these unpainted pieces to be some of Martinez' finest works.

San Ildefonso Pueblo artist Maria Martinez (1887-1980) Poveka is probably the most famous of all pueblo potters. She and her husband Julian discovered in 1918 how to produce the now-famous black-on-black pottery, and they spent the remainder of their careers perfecting and producing it for museums and collectors worldwide. Maria collaborated with a number of family members over the years and also made unpainted pieces on her own. She is one one of the most influential and historically significant Native artists. Her works are included in major museum collections around the world.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this San Ildefonso Polished Blackware Jar signed "Maria Poveka" is from a private collection in Santa Fe

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

TAGS: Pueblo Pottery, San Ildefonso PuebloPopovi DaSantana and Adam MartinezJulian Martinez