Maria & Popovi Pottery, ca. 1965

Value (2009) | $24,000 Retail$36,000 Retail

GUEST:
My sister and I inherited them when our brother left everything that he had to the both of us. He did a lot of traveling. Over the years he brought back a lot of beautiful Southwestern pottery. I've got you. And the little bit I know about it is just from the books that we kept when he passed away and started reading on Maria. But we knew that was his favorite potterer.

APPRAISER:
So these are Maria pots?

GUEST:
Yes. I saw the receipts. I've got two receipts, that's all I could find.

APPRAISER:
And he had paid, like, $110 or something?

GUEST:
$110, $90, $125, something like that.

APPRAISER:
Okay, there's two signatures on these pots. Do you know who the other signature is?

GUEST:
The Popovi is her son.

APPRAISER:
Right. Her son didn't live a long time, so they didn't make a lot of pots together. He was an excellent potter. All of these pots are dual signed Maria and Popovi, and he was... Popovi Da was his name.

GUEST:
Da, right.

APPRAISER:
And I just wanted to turn this over, because you can see there's the Maria signature, and the Popovi, and the number. And I believe this would be fifth month of 1965.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
I'm pretty sure that it's the date. The first pot over there, it's a feather design.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And the plate is the same thing. These are called an avanyu. It's a water serpent. It's almost like a dragon in Japan or China.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
He bought the right pots, and he bought them at the right time for the right price. They're burnished blackware. She learned to do this in the early '20s, late teens. It's called reduction firing, and that's what turns them black like this. Condition is a huge thing with Maria pots. There's a lot of them out there. She made her living doing this. Her whole family did.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
So there's hundreds. We see no less than a half a dozen a show. The half a dozen we see are usually worth anywhere from $400 to $1,200 because they've got nicks and scratches and little dents. These are really pristine examples of her work. The feather jar over there, $8,000 to $12,000 in a retail situation, conservatively.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
The plate, $8,000 to $12,000. This little avanyu bowl, $4,000 to $6,000, and $4,000 to $6,000 for this. So these four pots, which were just sort of Art Deco style tourist pieces from the 1960s are worth $24,000 on the low end, $36,000 on the high end, and possibly more.

GUEST:
More, okay.

APPRAISER:
Again, it's about collectors wanting pristine examples, and you've got them.

GUEST:
Right.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
None
San Antonio, TX
Appraised value (2009)
$24,000 Retail$36,000 Retail
Event
Raleigh, NC (June 27, 2009)
Category
Tribal Arts
Material
Pottery

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