Ramita Martinez Cooking Pot, ca. 1959
My mother bought it for $100 at the county fair. And that was 1959. She bought two of them. One belongs to my sister and then I got the other one. And she cooked in it. And when she was boiling beans-- it's a bean pot-- you could pick it up and the beans would still be boiling-- I remember that-- and you could hold it in your hands and it wouldn't burn your hands.
Do you know where the pot comes from, other than Albuquerque?
She kept a newspaper article inside the pot when I got it and it says, "Picuris, New Mexico."
Right. Well, this is made by a woman from Picerus, New Mexico, which is a pueblo. In the '60s, the pueblo had very few people living there and this type of pottery had almost died out. And this pot was made by a woman named Ramita Martinez, and she was one of a group of women that revived this whole type of pottery. I expect the pot was made about 1959. And they're cooking pots, and they're made out of a clay, it's called micaceous clay. If you look, there are these little glistening spots all over it.
Right, it sparkles.
Those little sparkles are the mineral mica. Ramita Martinez, she was born, like, in 1880, 1885, something like that.
Yeah, so she learned how to do this when it was an active pueblo. And she just kept it alive. Now it's fairly popular. They're generally undecorated. If you look, this one has little stamp decorations on it. Now, it's not a huge market. There's a very narrow group of collectors, and collectors are what drive price. So, if this piece came on the market in a prominent auction, the value would probably be around $1,000.
And this is fairly conservative. So, it's a really beautiful, elegant thing, real simple...
I shouldn't be cooking beans in it anymore?
No, don't cook beans in it anymore.
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