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Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic (10)

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Native American (8)

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Huge Old Pawn Navajo Fine Turquoise & Silver Bracelet

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1950   item# 628042

Huge Old Pawn Navajo Fine Turquoise & Silver Bracelet
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $355.
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This magnificent vintage cuff bracelet features a deep-cut (thick) and vivid stone, along with highly ornate silverwork. The turquoise is outstanding; it's natural, of course (not stabilized), and it looks more like the greener examples of Blue Gem than anything else, given its pools of blue and loads of toasty golden pyrite matrix. While the mine was located in Nevada, its owner regularly supplied traders in the Southwest who dealt with Navajo and Zuni jewelers. The mine was very prolific at one time, but today the stones are considered extremely rare, valuable and collectible. Most "finished" Blue Gem turquoise today is in private collections and museums, rarely offered for sale.

Here the stone, an irregular shape measuring roughly 1 1/2 inches in each dimension, has been set in a ridged collet and given an asymmetrical frame with highly detailed feathers at one side. Feathers, in the Native American tradition, represent marks of honor, prayers and the creative force.

Overall size of the central element is about 2 inches by 2 inches, so this is quite a substantial jewel -- weighing more than two ounces, despite the openwork cuff. It's very well balanced, though, so it doesn't feel too heavy when worn. The cuff can be gently adjusted, but the best fit will be for a small to average-sized wrist.

A maker mark is present at the back, but it's a symbol that I don't know how to interpret and haven't been able to photograph clearly. There are no other markings, since the bracelet was crafted well before introduction of present standards for identifying jewelry as Native American-made. I expect it dates no later than 1950 and possibly well before. It was purchased as an Old Pawn piece in the 1970s and remained in the same family for more than 35 years. Provenance is a collection here in New Mexico and condition is excellent.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Rare Very Early Native American Turquoise Silver Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1920   item# 598378

Rare Very Early Native American Turquoise Silver Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $135. 

This is an extremely old and interesting ring, made by rustic techniques not seen much, if at all, after World War I. It may be substantially earlier than that.

Turquoise stones first appeared in Native American silverwork in the 1880s, a couple of decades after a few tribesmen learned to make silver jewelry. It wasn't produced on a commercial scale until around 1920, when tourists of the "Fred Harvey Era" began visiting the Southwest by railroad. Tools were generally primitive before then and most silver was from coins melted down. Rapid advances in quality during the 1920s, more turquoise from new mines and the availability of sheet sterling from around 1930 accounted for the differences we see in newer jewels, which are generally hallmarked and often maker-marked.

Here the only marks we see were made by files, hammers and casting in sand or tufa rock. Both the setting and the turquoise cabochon show the surface irregularities we expect from early work and are, like all the first pieces, of Navajo style. Tribal distinctions didn't arise until many decades after Navajos passed silversmithing skills along to their Zuni and Hopi neighbors.

The stone, as you see, is a particularly luscious one -- certainly natural, grown greener with age and loaded with copper matrix that looks characteristically Bisbee (called the "Tiffany of Turquoise"). That mine has been closed for ages, as have all others from which this could conceivably have come.

About a U.S. size 5 now, the ring could be easily altered either way, since the dual shank unites at the back. The face measures about 5/8 by 5/8 inches and the stone about 1/2 by 3/8 inches, sitting high in a tall collet against a flat background with a dimensional edge patterned to look like a twist. The finer workmanship of the band suggests that it might be a later replacement for a simpler one broken long ago. We haven't cleaned the ring at all, leaving to its next owner the decision on how far to go with polishing.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Moonstone Ring Vermeil Filigree Early 20th c Chinese

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Far Eastern: Pre 1930   item# 575798

Moonstone Ring Vermeil Filigree Early 20th c Chinese
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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China has one of the world's oldest filigree traditions, dating from ancient times, and the Chinese continued to produce it by hand long after machine methods appeared in the West. Due to their exceptional artistry, these jewels have been popular export and tourist items in every era when the country was open to outside trade.

This exquisite antique filigree and moonstone ring was crafted for the English-speaking market, based on the two stamps "Made in China" and "Shaer". Countless hours went into fashioning the filigree setting. Not only the applied decoration but the underlying mesh is hand-wrought from tiny metal threads. The material is most likely 800 silver, since there's no sterling mark. Rings of this type were customarily washed with high-carat gold, as ours appears to be. Beyond the glory of the mounting, the moonstone cabochon is a monster -- practically as tall as the entire face of the ring, which covers my lower knuckle.

Provenance of this treasure is a Georgia estate and I believe it dates from around 1900 - 1925. Its monumentally lavish monumental scale suggests that it predates the Depression and the swirling floral decoration has an Art Nouveau feeling. Certainly it was made before World War II, after which trade with newly-communist China was suspended until the 1970s.

Condition is remarkable, relative to age, since so many of these older rings have lost much of their gilding. Size can be self-adjusted, as was characteristic of Chinese export rings.

Filigree, BTW, is among the most fashionable forms of jewelry you could choose today. According to all the latest trend reports, filigree rings with an antique look are being featured in the best places (like Tiffany and Cartier). So why not own a genuine antique filigree ring for a whole lot less?

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Stunning 7-Gem George Nakai Sterling Treasure Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1990   item# 513229

Stunning 7-Gem George Nakai Sterling Treasure Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

It's easy to see why George Nakai's opulent "Treasure" jewels are the artist's most coveted designs. You simply can't take your eyes off these bold modernist forms set with vivid cabochon gemstones and loads of them! Bracelets from this series now sell in the $400-$500 range and typically feature from 9 to 12 stones. This ring isn't far behind with 7. It's also the most beautifully shaped Nakai ring I've seen. Others tend to have rectangular faces, whereas this one is lyrically asymmetrical. The stones are amethyst, garnet, emerald, citrine, turquoise, lapis and angel skin coral, so obviously you can wear it with anything. Its face is an inch tall and almost as wide, condition is marvelous and it dates, I believe, from the 1980s -- making it almost officially "vintage". Present size is about a US 6.5, which can be altered by a good jeweler at the point in back where the three graceful silver shanks meet. The ring is marked NAKAI STERLING and reached us from a Midwestern estate.

Nakai, as you may know, has earned international acclaim as a creator of finely made, high-fashion jewelry. Some of his earlier work was more typically Zuni, but it always showed his special flair for design and interest in unusual materials.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



MINT c1960 HUGE Zuni Needlepoint Bisbee Turquoise Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1970   item# 476547

MINT c1960 HUGE Zuni Needlepoint Bisbee Turquoise Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you!
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Layaway terms available. 

Here's an exceptional opportunity to be the first to enjoy a spectacular vintage ring. From a fabulous estate collection of vintage Native American jewelry, this ring is hand-made of sterling and rare Bisbee Blue turquoise. The massive top of the ring measures 1 3/4" tall x 1 1/8" at its widest point. (It covers most of the length of my finger!) A U.S. size 5 1/2 now, it could be easily enlarged or cut down, since the back of the band isn't ornamented, and would look as good on a man as on a woman.

This treasure is in like-new condition (apart from tarnish), because the former owner - who collected for more than 60 years - bought fine pieces directly from Southwestern Indian artisans and then stored them away. They weren't ever worn! On the reverse of the ring is an inventory identification number placed there by the collector and an original price. He paid $210 for this exceptional jewel, when it was new around 1960. All it's done since then is wait to be worn and loved.

From the same collection, we also have a whopping Bisbee Turquoise Silver Matrix Ring, very rare and older. If you're interested in both these treasures, we can work out even better pricing. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Rare & HUGE Bisbee Turquoise Silver Matrix Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1950   item# 475470

Rare & HUGE Bisbee Turquoise Silver Matrix Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $280. 

High grade Bisbee turquoise is extremely rare and collectible now, because the legendary mine closed 30 years ago. It's widely regarded as the world's finest, due to its rich colors and unique matrix patterns, and called "The Tiffany of Turquoise."

This incredible ring is one of the splendid early designs made in the Southwest while Bisbee turquoise was still being mined. Obviously it's hand-crafted and the stone is all natural, not treated in any way, and full of matrix that's characteristically Bisbee. The monster-sized cab is more than an inch round and the gorgeously worked silver setting measures 1 1/2 inches wide and nearly 2 inches tall.

Amazingly, it's in mint condition, being from the estate of an Arizona collector who bought directly from Native American artisans and stored the jewels as investments. He was in the market for 60 years, so this could date as far back as the 1940s (and, based on the style, I wouldn't be surprised). From the same collection, we also have a whopping Zuni needlepoint ring, also of Bisbee blue, which was made around 1960. If you're interested in both these treasures, we can work out special pricing.

Thanks for looking!



Rare Pueblo Deco Beaded Tassel Necklace c 1925

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1930   item# 411991

Rare Pueblo Deco Beaded Tassel Necklace c 1925
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Very briefly in the early 20th century, the Pueblo Deco style appeared as a fusion of Native American artwork with Art Deco design. Its legacy is largely architectural, including such cultural treasures as Albuquerque's KiMo Theatre. Antique jewels from the era are rare and highly collectible.

A wonderful example is this antique necklace from the 1920s, which has Flapper Girl tassels and also evokes the Egyptian Revival style popular at the time. It's a thick, supple rope of emerald green and white glass beads strung in a spiral pattern, undoubtedly handcrafted by a Native American artisan in New Mexico. After being collected by a visitor to 'The Land of Enchantment' during the first years when the Santa Fe Railroad and enterprising hoteliers began courting tourists, it lay in a bank vault for 80+ years - and emerged like new, to our good fortune. Almost 30 inches long including fringe, the necklace is exceedingly well-made and versatile. Its beaded slide allows you to adjust the strand for wear as a choker or even a headband.

Please e-mail for additional photos showing greater detail. BTW, we also have two other beaded necklaces from the same era and estate, both in mint condition - one matching the style of this, but in red and white and another that's of bib form and museum quality. If you're interested in one or both of those, too, we can work out special pricing. Thanks for looking!



Rare Pueblo Deco Beaded Tassel Necklace c 1925

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1930   item# 411989

Rare Pueblo Deco Beaded Tassel Necklace c 1925
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Very briefly in the early 20th century, the Pueblo Deco style appeared as a fusion of Native American artwork with Art Deco design. Its legacy is largely architectural, including such cultural treasures as Albuquerque's KiMo Theatre. Antique jewels from the era are rare and highly collectible.

A wonderful example is this antique necklace from the 1920s, which has Flapper Girl tassels and also evokes the Egyptian Revival style popular at the time. It's a thick, supple rope of red and white glass beads strung in a spiral pattern, undoubtedly handcrafted by a Native American artisan in New Mexico. After being collected by a visitor to 'The Land of Enchantment' during the first years when the Santa Fe Railroad and enterprising hoteliers began courting tourists, it lay in a bank vault for 80+ years - and emerged like new, to our good fortune. Almost 30 inches long including fringe, the necklace is exceedingly well-made and versatile. Its beaded slide allows you to adjust the strand for wear as a choker or even a headband.

We also have two other beaded necklaces from the same era and estate, both in mint condition - one matching the style of this, but in green and white and another that's of bib style and museum quality. If you're interested in one or both of those, too, we can work out special pricing.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



Fine Vintage Egyptian Lions Bangle Bracelet

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Pre 1960   item# 140132

Fine Vintage Egyptian Lions Bangle Bracelet
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you!

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If you follow fashion, you know bracelets are being worn on both arms, often several at a time, so we all need more of them now! Here's a really unusual, conversation-piece bangle finely detailed with two stylized lions in sphinxlike pose, their manes resembling a Pharoah's head-dress. It's also decorated on the sides and infinitely adjustable to fit any wrist (or you could even wear it farther up your arm). The metal is quite sturdy and has a "real gold" look, though I assume it's a brass alloy (possibly gilded). Probable dating is mid-20th century. Origin is either Egypt or nearby East Africa.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



c1920 Arte Nueva Malachite Ring from Major Collection

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1920   item# 117212

c1920 Arte Nueva Malachite Ring from Major Collection
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This exciting ring from the collection of Fred Rezazadeh (distinguished author of "The Collectible Silver Jewelry Book" and "Costume Jewelry: A Practical Handbook & Value Guide") is a splendid example of Arte Nueva - an ethnic spin on classic Art Nouveau design. Note the swirling lines of these stylized feather-like leaves. Arts & Crafts influence is also evident, both in the fine quality of hand-workmanship and the choice of a green cabochon stone. And what a gorgeous chunk of malachite it is.

The ring's creator was almost certainly a Native American or Mexican artisan working in the very early 20th century. Since people were a lot more casual about markings then, the piece isn't signed, nor is there a hallmark to indicate the grade of the metal. Silver content is high, I believe based on the age patina present. We haven't cleaned the ring, leaving to its next owner the decision on how far to go with polishing. Currently a 6, it could be easily resized up or down, since the shank isn't ornamented. The face, as you see, is so large it completely covers my lower knuckle.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!


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