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San Ildefonso Pueblo Black-on-Black Plate with Avanyu signed Maria-Popovi [SOLD]


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Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond Lily
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: Clay
  • Size: 11-1/4” diameter x 1-3/4” deep
  • Item # C3164D
  • SOLD

Popovi Da is best known as a collaborator with his mother, Maria Martinez. Starting in 1956, Popovi worked with Maria in all aspects of pottery preparation and their pieces were co-signed. It was his intent to assist his mother and not to take away from her attention that kept him from making pottery on his own.  He was going to pursue his career after his mother was no longer making pottery.  Unfortunately, he passed away in 1971.  It was, at that time, that Maria retired.

This plate was made during the middle of the Maria/Popovi collaborative period (1956-1970).  It is signed and dated 264 (February 1964).  It is this period, when Maria was assisted by her son, which most collectors herald as the greatest period of creativity. This plate was made during the middle of the Maria/Popovi collaborative period (1956-1970).  It is signed and dated 264 (February 1964).  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 a number of 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.

This plate with an Avanyu encircling the outer edge is typical of their work of the time. The burnishing is flawless and the firing produced a gun metal finish.


Condition: structurally in perfect condition with some scratches and minor marks near the center of the plate.

Provenance: from a gentleman in Santa Fe

Recommended Reading: The Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez by Richard Spivey. This book is no longer available from Adobe Gallery.