1933 North Dakota School of Mines Figure of Maria Martinez
This was a piece that was made by my grandmother, who lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and this was done during the 1930s.
This is Maria Martinez. She was a Pueblo artist from New Mexico. She was a favorite of my grandmother's. Do you think your grandmother ever met Maria?
She may have. I rather doubt it. I probably would have a picture if she did. I just know that it was someone she greatly admired.
I have seen a lot of works that were done at the North Dakota School of Mines, which is also referred to as UND, for University of North Dakota. I've never seen anything like that. First of all, it's not a vessel. The North Dakota School of Mines was set up mostly to discuss and promote the clays-- of which there were many-- the very good clays of that state. This here is done by an artist, your grandmother, who is not particularly known as one of the most famous artists at North Dakota, but she made this as an homage to another potter. Maria Martinez was very famous, and she was famous for a really long time, so there were lots of photos taken of her and circulating that she may very well have seen, and she may have done this from photos. I just wanted to show the signature here from your grandmother, the date of 1933, both marks from the University of North Dakota. And I love this. I think this is so fantastic and so rare. Your grandmother's signature is on the back as well. The collectible appeal of this is the fact that it's a UND figure, it's a big UND figure, it's a western UND figure, it's something to do with a completely different potter who's very well known and well collected. For all that, if we put this at auction, very conservatively, it would be $5,000 to $7,000.
Goodness. Isn't that wonderful?
I would think that if you sold this retail, or in a good day at auction, it could certainly go up to $10,000 or more.
Oh, wow. She'd be very proud. I'm very proud.
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