San Ildefonso polychrome bowl


San Ildefonso polychrome bowl


attributed to Maria and Julian Martinez

9 3/4" diameter x 2 1/2" high

excellent condition

circa 1915

ex: Marti Struever; Private Collection



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This is one of the most beautiful San Ildefonso polychrome bowls that we have ever seen.  It has survived in excellent condition. Pots of this period were not signed.

It is the consensus among all the authoritative people with whom we have consulted that this bowl was likely made by Maria Martinez. There is some debate about who painted it, although everyone agrees it was by a talented artist who likely made katsinas at that time. Richard Spivey, an authority on Maria and Julian pottery, felt that the bowl was most likely painted by Julian Martinez.

The central katsina (kachina) image and the anthropomorphic positive and negative figures and x's make the design of this bowl intriguing. The anthropomorphic figures appear to be positive/negative, perhaps reflecting day and night. The x's are usually interpreted as stars.