San Ildefonso blackware pottery plate

Maria (1887-1980) and Julian (1879-1943) Martinez

With black-on-black geometric motif, signed to underside, "Marie + Julian."

Diam: 13 5/8 in.


Collection of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Bensalem, Pennsylvania.
Estimate $1,000-1,500

Arguably the most renowned and collected Southwest potter of the 20th century, Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez, along with her husband, Julian Martinez (1879-1943), discovered the pottery technique for their now famous black-on-black pottery in c. 1920. Though most readily recognized for this distinctive pottery style, they also created polychrome and redware/sienna examples, with Julian providing the decoration for pots formed by Maria; a pamphlet published by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Nov-Dec. 1940, describes Maria and Julian's working relationship: "To the beauty of form moulded by [Maria] from clay, Julian adds the colorful design illustrative of the best in Indian art." Maria worked with Julian until his death in 1943, and later worked with her daughter-in-law, Santana (1909-2002). Beginning in 1956, she worked with her son, Popovi Da, retiring from pottery-making upon his death in 1971.

Sold for $3,750 (buyer's premium included)