Cuff Hallmarked "RLB ZUNI" - is it Robert & Bernice Leekya or No?

Good early morning to everyone :slight_smile: I am seeking help with a Cuff I have just inherited by a customer. It is a Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet with Multi Stone Inlay (Raised) and is stamped as “RLB” with “ZUNI” just below the initials.
Now, to answer the most popular question right out of the gate, no, the L is not larger than the rest and no, it does not hang lower than the rest either. If it did, I would not be asking for help, as I know for certain what a Robert & Bernice Leekya Hallmark looks like. So, that being said, since I am fully aware of the famous larger and lower hanging L of the Leekya Hallmark, I am at a complete dead-end in identifying this beautiful Cuff. I haven’t been able to turn up one single, solitary piece of information that leads me to anything BUT the Leekya’s.
I have found ONE other Native American artist using the RLB hallmark, but is a Navajo artist, and obviously, since the Cuff is also signed ZUNI, that also doesn’t work.
I am utterly confused. I have been able to locate 3 other random pieces of turquoise jewelry with the same RLB ZUNI hallmark as is on my Cuff, and all 3 were described as being authentic & RARE Leekya pieces. So, honestly, I haven’t the slightest clue what to think or do.
I’ve uploaded a photo of the Hallmark & the Cuff for everyone to view. With any luck I’ll get some great information!!
I am looking to resell the Cuff, but will not do so until I know for sure who exactly this RLB ZUNI hallmark belongs to.
Thank you in advance to any & all feedback, information or advice :)) I am greatly looking forward to learning something new!!

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ZuniJewelryCollector, you may not be checking this post anymore, since so much time has elapsed. I’m just bumping it up, in case anyone can help. It’s an interesting question.

I’ve been researching the work of several of the Leekya siblings this past year (Frances, Alice, Robert, and Roger) and my first impression is that this type of inlay work doesn’t seem to match the work I know as Robert and Bernice Leekya’s. In researching your question I also found a lot of conflicting IDs on various pieces on the internet, with both marks. (So, thank you for posting here, as I’m glad to know about this confusing issue.)

You’ve probably already found that the Barton Wright hallmark book lists your mark as the hallmark used jointly by the brothers Leonard and Robert Begay. I’ve had a hard time locating photos of their work on the web, but it is interesting that Wright notes that these Navajo brothers worked together, and that Robert Begay did work described as “Zuni style inlay with dancers, primarily making Apache dancers during the 70s.”

I agree with you the Navajo name of Begay is confusing because the piece appears to be classic Zuni inlay, but Wright’s brief note makes me think that the Begay brothers might be a possible fit, if they did work in the Zuni inlay style. However, if Navajo artists made the piece, why it’s marked “ZUNI” under the RLB has me baffled too.

Since the Wright books says that Leonard and Robert Begay are from the Gallup, NM area, I thought there was a chance that Jason might have more info about these artists.

It would be great if someone could pop up here with better help for you (I’m very interested, too.)

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Hey, Zuni Jewelry Collector. I ended up purchasing this piece almost exactly 1 year ago. However our time together was cut short due to an accident on the open seas last week. I have been looking all over the internet to find a similar piece and nothing can catch my eye like this piece did. Did you ever find out who the maker was or have you ever come across another RBL piece with similar inlays? This bracelet brought me much joy for the past year and I regret losing it to the ocean, but things happen for a reason. I look forward to hearing back from you with good news.