Bolo signed HD

Good afternoon. Need help identifying this turquoise Bolo I picked up today. I do not know it’s history. I have not made any attempt to clean or polish silver. The stones are turquoise, I believe. They look similar to some I have seen on the Forum. I am a bit concerned about the turquoise on the the back of the bolo. I thought it was from solder, but not I am wondering if this is paint?
I have tried to google HD and got “Henry Davis?” on NA Hallmark site with the question mark. . Again it was not represented as being NA or not NA. The women are Ladies Auxillary Volunteers who run a rummage sale as a Fundraiser for local Fire Dept. Bless their hearts. It was not easy with today’s wind and cold.
If you want to see something funny, imagine my husband and I chasing down two cat/dog carriers as they took off flying across the parking lot in the wind (no animals were inside). We returned the runaway carriers to the sale! And now I throw myself on the mercy of the good people of the forum for any thoughts on the maker, decade, and material of this bolo. Thank you. And Happy Mothers Day to all and their Moms!

1 Like

From the pic to me it looks like paint, but I don’t know how solder might look. So that is tarnish on the silver? And I always have trouble with turquoise with no matrix; it never looks as real to my untrained eyes. But you definitely got a fun piece, and helped first responders at the same time.

That’s a lot of wind to blow away a cat/ dog carrier!

1 Like

I swear it’s true. LOL

1 Like

Yes, that is tarnish, and it can be cleaned off. I just want everyone to see it as it is to help determine age.
The word above HD is Sterling, it may be hard to see from the picture.

1 Like

Right. I missed the sterling mark for some reason. I’m not good at guessing age on pieces. But to me tarnish doesn’t necessarily mean older, just means it was exposed to air. Patina on a piece would look different in general, and that is harder to see when something is tarnished. But it looks like there is some nice patina there also. I bet the experts on here will look for things like wear from age, and how it’s made to get an idea of age.

I like your bolo! My dad used to wear bolos with his suits, but I passed those on to his great grandsons (I kept his awesome buckle :grin:). But maybe I’ll have to look for a bolo for me!

That was sweet of you to pass the bolos on to the grandsons. And yes, bolos are worn by women, too.
Please look for one for yourself.

I gave the HD bolo to my husband and he wore it with the collared plaid shirt he was wearing, It looked cool! I have seen them worn with both suits and casual collared shirts. The plus side of my husband wearing it, I can see the beautiful turquoise better when he wears it. I wore my Bowannie Cross this morning. I think we looked pretty sharp together, if I do say so myself.

1 Like

I bet you did! I wore a fair amount of native jewelry to Church this am, but my hubby doesn’t wear any. Oh well, he doesn’t mind me buying it so all good😁

1 Like

The only HD I come across is for a Hank Desidero. I did a google search and the style is different, but styles can change.

Thank you Jason. I kept searching Sat & Sun and could not find anything on any of my internet searches.

I came across a Henry Dodge from the 1800s (he died mid-century) who was married to a Navajo woman(2nd wife). I read he was aka H.L. Dodge. The article said he was also Mexican and learned silversmithing. He had sons and grandsons, and name sakes Henry Chee Dodge, also a silversmith. I could not find their hallmark anywhere, Or examples of their work.
I googled when the bolo came into being and read the were popular about 1950- 1970s. Could this be another possibility as well as Hank Desidero?

@hisweetpotato If you mean HL Dodge it’s 100% not possible. He was of the wrong era, dead 100 years before this might have been made (and was Anglo and not a jeweler). The bolo is certainly mid-20th c. or later.

We all have to live with the fact that some hallmarks aren’t yet documented, or, in worst-case scenario, are inventions applied to imported non-Native work.


I was thinking more of his grandson Henry Chee Dodge. . You are correct H.L. Dodge died in the the 1850s. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

@hisweetpotato This family is, as far as possible to tell, unrelated to this bolo’s origin. Chee Dodge was an important and brilliant person in the Navajo nation, from Head Chief to tribal council chairman etc. But he wasn’t a jewelry artisan or silversmith. His connection to jewelry and other arts was purely as a collector.


This is the guide I use the most. It shows Henry Davis with a ?

I swear I’ve sold older pieces from my Mom’s Native American Jewelry store that were signed HD. It’s a good old piece. You could polish it with a silver cloth. But, I’d not polish too much. The patina is a lot of its charm and value. Store silver with chalk. It will keep it from tarnishing in the future.


I’ve never heard that about the chalk! Interesting. I’ve found if I at least store mine in something, whether it’s a box or a drawer or covered with a cloth or whatever, they don’t tarnish. But then I wear most of my stuff pretty regularly.

How awesome that your mom had a Native American jewelry store!!

Thank you. I appreciate the chalk tip. I had not heard that before. We very gently used a silver cloth to do a gentle cleaning…
The signature on my piece was hard to see, I missed it at first, It was right under where the the “clasp” is attached, hidden by the leather tie ends. So many online bolos have the Hallmark right on the clasp.