Inherited pin with scratched initials on back

I inherited this brooch from my husband’s mother. It came in a box with a pawn shop tag. The pin definitely looks handmade. It does not have a stamped mark on the back; just the lightly scratched letters EWZK. I would like to learn more about it. Thanks!


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E N Z R

any date/location shown on the pawn ticket might help also

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That’s a beautiful pin! I love it. It is most likely Zuni. The etched markings on the back may be a traders code, letters that stand for numbers to signify to the trader how much he paid for it or could afford to sell it for. Having a pawn ticket also adds value, as it gives information about provenance and documents age (when it was pawned or earlier). People often throw around the terms “old pawn” or “dead pawn” but unless there is a pawn ticket to back it up those phrases are meaningless. Would love to see a picture of the pawn ticket which should tell when and where it was pawned.

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Here’s a picture of the ticket that was in the box with the pin. There is nothing on the back or any indication of a store name or location. I just googled “Ann Begay” and came up with Ruth Ann Begay, a Navajo artist who lives in New Mexico. Could this be one of her early pieces?

The name of the lady who had it in pawn was Ann Begay. She would not be the artist. It is common for a piece from the 60s and older to not have a hallmark. The code equals $27.00.

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Thank you so much for the information!