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Beautifully Burnished Solid Black Bowl signed Maria Poveka [SOLD]


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Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond Lily
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: clay
  • Size: 2-1/2” deep x 9-7/8” diameter
  • Item # C3910F
  • SOLD

Artist "Poveka" signature - Maria Montoya Poveka Martinez (1887-1980) Pond LilyWhen Maria Martinez produced plain blackware without having a family member paint on a design, she signed her name as Maria Povéka.  According to Richard Spivey, Maria started signing with the Maria Povéka name in 1956 when she began collaborating with Popovi Da.  This was an attempt to distinguish between pottery she alone completed versus those that were collaborations with Popovi Da.  Spivey states that Maria abandoned the Povéka signature in the mid-1960s.  After that, all pieces were signed Maria/Popovi whether decorated or not.  Spivey 2003


This bowl brings back memories of the first pottery purchase I made on arriving in New Mexico (Alexander E. Anthony, Jr):

I arrived in Albuquerque in August 1957 and was captivated by the city that was so different from where I had just departed, Raleigh, North Carolina.  Within 30 days, I was roaming downtown Albuquerque and wandered into an amazing three-story adobe building that was Wright’s Trading Post and met Mrs. Chernof.  In looking over the items, I spotted a plain black highly polished bowl that I thought was amazing, so I told Mrs. Chernof that I would like to purchase it.  When she wrote up the sale and gave me the total cost of $100 plus tax, I was shocked and said I had no idea it was so expensive and could not afford it.  That price was about half my monthly Air Force salary at that time.  She graciously offered to let me purchase it at $10 down payment and $10 every month. I accepted the offer.  That was my first Maria Poveka purchase and my first pueblo pottery purchase.  It was like this bowl, but larger. 


If a piece of pottery like this has such an effect on a person who has no idea what it is, where it is from, or who made it, then it speaks for the art itself.  Maria’s plain polished bowls are true works of art and are accepted as that by collectors.


Condition: original condition

Provenance: this Beautifully Burnished Solid Black Bowl is from a granddaughter of Popovi Da who inherited the contents of Popovi’s Studio when Anita Da passed away.

Reference: Spivey, Richard L., The Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez, Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe. 2003

Alternate side view.