Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A very rare bracelet, one for the scholars

Every once in a great while, we come upon a piece so rare and interesting that we post it on our blog here, even if (like this one) it is not for sale. The last time we did this was with a dated silver bracelet--very interesting and informative for true students of the art and history of Southwestern Indian silverwork. This piece does not have a firm date like this one, but it has a feature that is so rare we wanted everyone to see it.

Here is the front view:
A very nice piece, with a good old turquoise on a stamped plate. The band is split, rather than being wires soldered together--much more technically challenging. And the side view:
You can better see the splits in the single silver band. A very fine old bracelet, circa 1915, but not an earthshaker just yet. But what is that at the end? Terminal stones? Now we're getting somewhere. And here is where it gets very interesting:
Two rough-cut stones inside old sawtooth bezels. Very interesting indeed. Not unheard of, certainly, but quite interesting. But here is where my photography fails me--if I could get close enough and put a bright enough light on those stones, the picture would show a red glow. Because there are not turquoise, but rather garnets--known to exist in old Navajo jewelry, but incredibly rare. This is the first and only time we have ever seen garnets set on an old bracelet as terminal stones. They are very rough looking, because these are naturally occurring river garnets, rather than mined garnets--garnets can be found in streambeds in the Southwest, and tend to be darker and rougher in appearance than their cousins that come from mines.

Anyone else out there ever seen anything like this? If so, please let us know.

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