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San Ildefonso Pueblo Black-on-black Feather Design Plate signed Maria/Popovi

C3890A-plate.jpg

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Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond Lily
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: Clay
  • Size: 12” diameter x 1-3/4” deep
  • Item # C3890A
  • Price: $6,800.00

Popovi Da began collaborating with his mother on her pottery in 1956, following a period when Santana had been assisting her mother-in-law.  Popovi and his mom worked together until his death in 1971. Popovi worked with Maria in all aspects of pottery preparation and their pieces were co-signed.  When Popovi passed away, Maria essentially retired.  Popovi initiated the process of adding the date to his and Maria’s pottery in 1959.  Prior to that, they were just co-signed with the two names.

This plate with a feather design does not have a date so it would have been made between 1956 and 1958, the period before dates were placed on their pottery.  It is this period, when Maria was assisted by her son, which most collectors herald as the greatest period of creativity.

Popovi Da, and his wife Anita, had opened the Popovi Da Studio of Indian Arts at San Ildefonso Pueblo in 1948 as a place to sell his mother's pottery.  The studio was a great success and eventually sold pottery and other arts and crafts by others.  Running his business, being a ceremonial and religious leader at the pueblo and governor of the pueblo several times as well as other responsibilities left Popovi little time to pursue pottery as a career but what little time he had he put to great use.  He was an astonishing potter and a great assistant to his mother, Maria Martinez.

Popovi Da began collaborating with his mother on her pottery in 1956, following a period when Santana had been assisting her mother-in-law.  Popovi and his mom worked together until his death in 1971. Popovi worked with Maria in all aspects of pottery preparation and their pieces were co-signedThis plate is an excellent example of the early collaborative work between Maria and Popovi.  Maria, as always, made a beautiful shallow dish, her sister Clara most likely did the burnishing as she did on much of Maria’s pottery, and Popovi painted the design made famous by his dad.  The eagle feather design is one Julian lifted from a Mimbres bowl in the collection of the Museum of New Mexico.  It was a design used by the entire Martinez family for generations.

 

Condition: very good condition with some scratches to the burnished section

Provenance: from the collection of a gentleman from Colorado

Recommended Reading: The Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez by Richard L. Spivey (1937 - 2011)

Close up view of Eagle Feather design.

Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond Lily
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: Clay
  • Size: 12” diameter x 1-3/4” deep
  • Item # C3890A
  • Price: $6,800.00

C3890A-plate.jpgC3890A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.