Huge Old Pawn Navajo Fine Turquoise & Silver Bracelet
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Directory: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1950: Item # 628042
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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.
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