Thanks in advance to anyone who may be able to help me! I inherited this piece from my sister who received it as a gift in the mid 70’s when she lived in Tucsan, AZ. The pictograph hallmark is two opposing arrowheads within an eye or marquise shape. There are no other markings anywhere on the piece. The pendant is about 6 1/2 inches with inlay silver, lapis and turquoise. The main necklace is made of fluted Navajo pearls with a small lapis bead interspersed every 2 fluted beads. It is a very heavy pendant. I would like to know who made it and any resources about the artist as it is exquisite. I would also appreciate a general value (insurance value) and any info about the image in the pendant. I’ve been researching on-line for months and just don’t have the ability to buy the books that help. My local library did not have any of the manuals either. I’ve attached pics.
Hello and welcome to the Turquoise People
This is an NAmerican Yei pendant. A marvelous one at that…along with the exquisite craftsmanship of the pearls and inlay. It looks a lot like Edison Yazzie to me but I really don’t know for sure since I am not familiar with the arrows Hallmark but I can say there are arrows in other Yazzie jewelry like Ben Yazzie I think bit if you Google lapis inlay Yei pendant…you’ll find the this inlay style and level of craftsmanship very similar to his. Without being certain of the maker I can’t offer an idea of worth. I’m sure someone on here knows for sure though. Wish I could help more.
Thanks for the first response. I considered the Yazzie’s I found on-line but Edison is too young to have made this as he would only have been about 10 years old when it was created. I estimate that it was given to my sister between 1974 and 1978 and the pendant itself was created by someone who had already reached a “master” level of craftsmanship, so I assume at least 30 years old would make the artists birthday 1944ish or even earlier. I also looked at the Yellowhorse family of makers and am just having a hard time getting past the contemporaries. Thanks for the leads!!! Appreciate the welcome.
Are you sure mid 70s? This would be pretty cutting edge that time period.
Pretty sure on the time frame - maybe as late as 1980 but it was the only piece she kept from her years in Tuscan.
I’m with Jason on timeline. That looks newer than 70’s to me. It is truly lovely and the beads are very nice.
So I have another thought…I think this has been a marriage of two different necklaces…look at the age patina and technique of the pearls and clasp and then look at the yei and it’s patina and modernist design and bale…the silver in the pendant and it’s bale is even a brighter higher fine silver content Sterling than the pearls which means that maybe she rescued another necklace and decided to put them together…this kind of a pendent wouldn’t normally be paired with this style of fluted pearls and the style of inlay and cloissone like style of the cells is more modern too…hard to say what the story is here of how these pieces came together…I’d really like to know whose Hallmark that is try googling Navajo (Diné) pictomarks from that time period…cool story sure💜
Koliopee -You may have a good idea in the marriage of two pieces. The pendant is not removeable, the bale is soldered tight on the 2 beads and doesn’t come off, so putting the beads and pendant together is very intentional but the pendant and necklace do look like two different ages. I thought that this piece looked really crisp and modern too. I have gone through all the pictographs I could find on the web including the individual pages that galleries have for their artists. It seems most Navajo use their initals in some form in their hallmark and the word “sterling” on their pieces, especially after the 1970’s. I am really relying on someone with a much deeper knowledge (and some books) to help solve the maker mystery. I really want to know the story of the artist as this piece just resonates extreme patience, care and craftsmanship. Also, does the pendant represent a particular Yei?
When I was young I trained in silversmithing, casting and other metal work but ended up pursuing painting and sculpting. My admiration for this piece is huge 'cause I know that the skill required was immense. Thanks for the ideas for further pursuit of the story.