San Ildefonso Polychrome Jar by Maria and Julian Martinez, c.1915

Steve Elmore Indian Art

This superb example of circa 1915 San Ildefonso polychrome is attributed to the master husband-and-wife pottery team, Maria and Julian Martinez. Before their blackware pottery exploded in popularity in the early 1920s, Maria molded and Julian painted polychrome pottery. This piece has a tunyo form, a form that is a revival of prehistoric pieces excavated at the time from ancient villages near San Ildefonso, from the Pajarito Plateau near Bandelier. Maria reproduced this tunyo form at the request of the director of the Museum of New Mexico. Several of the design elements also align with other known pieces painted by Julian. The abstract floral designs fit the jar well and are well-executed. A label on the bottom reads "San Ildefonso from Candelario Collection." Jesus Sito Candelario (1864-1938) opened his Original Old Curio Store in 1902, and it was one of the first shops in Santa Fe to sell Pueblo pottery. Candelario operated the shop until 1936, when his descendants took over. The jar measures 7 3/4" height and 12" diameter, and is in excellent, original condition with no repair.


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Artwork details


Maria and Julian Martinez (San Ildefonso)


H 7.75IN x DIA 12IN

H 19.685CM x DIA 30.48CM


the Jesus Sito Candelario collection


excellent (original, no repair)

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