Martinez, Maria – Gunmetal Avanyu Bowl (Maria + Popovi 464) with Correspondence
This is a striking and historically important gunmetal fired bowl by Maria Martinez and her son, Popovi Da. Maria made and polished the bowl while it was painted by her son, Popovi Da (1923-1971). The entire piece is highly polished, even the bottom. The avanyu is Popovi’s more complex version with five “humps” and they are surrounded by clouds. The bowl was fired to a gunmetal coloration that is nearly perfect. It is signed on the side “Maria + Popovi 464”. The signature indicates that it was fired in April 1964. However, it is not just the bowl that is so exceptional, but there are letters between the original owner and Popovi Da! The letters follow the purchase of the bowl in 1964 and are on Popovi Da Studio letterhead and signed by him. Amazingly, the bowl was originally purchased in 1964 for $75. This may not seem like a lot today, but at the time, much of the other Pueblo pottery being made was sold for $10 and $20! I only photographed one page of the correspondence, but all are included. Definitely a great bowl with exceptional provenance!