Any help with hard to see hallmark

This pair of earrings looks remarkably like other Alice Quam pieces, and very, very much like an attributed pair of earrings I found online, but the hallmark is double stamped and barely there. Guesses - just a copy?

Zunis did and still do this kind of chandelier earring, so it’s not a strictly Alice thing. Regardless, I don’t think these look like Alice Quam’s work. Her stone shaping was much more competent–you don’t see a lot of hard cut lines in hers, whereas you do here–and she shaped the ends of stones more toward oval than a harder point. The elements aren’t laid out in the same order as she did typically; in second tier would be oval clusters. And other such differences, but mainly the overall finesse of the work doesn’t match hers.

I wouldn’t guess an imitator, just another maker using a classic Zuni format.

Her work, for comparison:


Your earrings are nice…hope up you enjoy wearing them. Im wondering if the hallmark is a stylized RL? I did a quick search and unfortunately can’t find the artist.
Just FYI, regarding Alice’s work…when I first saw this ring I thought it Alice’s work. It’s signed L W, Lorraine Waatsa, Alice’s daughter. To my eye her work is very similar to her mother’s and grandmother’s Doris Ondelacy. Wonderful work carried down through the family.
Anyway, I think this ring show’s @chicfarmer’s point that the stones are exquisitely formed in an elongated egg shape, no pointed ends.


Okay, bear with me, my knowledge of Zuni cluster work is somewhat limited. Are more pointed ends to the stones always considered less well done? Would they ever be done on purpose? I’m assuming in these examples it must be clear to those who know that the rounded ends are better work, but would an artist ever chose to make one end rounded and one end more pointed for style sake?

I feel a little bit here like I do when people talk about wine; I can tell good from bad, but not necessarily good from really good (maybe that’s because I’m more of a beer drinker…). But I do like to learn.


@Ziacat Great question. The issues in looking at Zuni lapidary work that pertain to this convo are: (1) correctly identifying a specific artist because you know what to look for in the details, to see what’s consistent with her work, and (2) being able to assess what is well done vs. less well done on technical grounds. If a master artist does pointed-end petitpoint beautifully, this is what she does and thus a fitting marker of her work–there is no rule to round those ends.

Look at what Edith Tsabetsaye accomplishes in her cutting of stones for needlepoint: exquisiteness in shaping (and with pointy ends), and with doming to these tiny little pieces. Compare this to the many others out there doing needlepoint but far less adeptly.


mashup from both hallmarks on your earrings gives me this result

unidentified here:


Thank you for the clarification and the info. Very helpful!


Thank you all for your thoughts & time to write them out. Steve thank you for figuring out the hallmark - I wouldn’t have seen it without your help.

1 Like