Unknown vintage (at least pre-mid 50's) Thunderbird Bolo

My father acquired this bolo when visiting his brother in Albuquerque in the mid 50’s. I never got to here his story on where he bought it or who could have made it before he passed on. To me it is priceless with it’s fine detail and rose like stamped border, but how old is it and where did it come from? I can’t find a mark or anything like it with the “lightning” shooting out of it’s orange beak. Help Please!

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That is an amazing piece. It is a Zuni Thunderbird and from the style I would attribute to Frank Vacit. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you so much, My novice intuition was the Zuni Thunderbird also. I will have to look at Frank Vacit works now! So much is different from the lighting to the rose like stamped border and 73 pieces in 5 stones (not sure what the orangish ones are). I hoped it could be a museum piece, but I know it’s tops in my collection. Thanks for replying.

Wow Jason, You’re right on it! Must be Frank Vacit’s work. I’m thinking 40’s from the border but the fine inlay is not showing up even in some of the book and museum quality works (which are way out there). Any idea when he was really getting the best detail work in? And why couldn’t this be a book piece with it’s unique details?

I am not an authority on Frank Vacit work, but would think of this piece be newer than 1940s. You would imagine his early work would be 1940s, and this piece is a very well done (meaning I imagine by the time he makes this piece he has been doing it for sometime). I am not sure what you mean by book and museum which are way out there, but anything by this artist is very collectible and this is an excellent piece.

Of course, after thinking about it, I did figure he had to be getting into his prime later after the 40’s to do such intricate work. I mean any of his work that is documented (that I have found so far) isn’t as finely detailed and would think this type of high of quality work should be see more. That saying his book and museum pieces are way out beyond what some others are is all. If this piece could truly be found as Frank’s, shouldn’t this type of work be documented for reference? Just glad Dad was moved to purchase this one. Thank You for your insight. Also, I never see what I am to believe is lightning coming out of a Thunderbird’s beak like this one, pretty unique? The size: 2-5/8"H x 2"W at top and 1-5/8W at the bottom. Weighs 2.2 oz. w/ 4" tips and checks out .925 or better.

You could make the documentation yourself. Add this to a file and add some other pieces with pictures and prices from the internet. When you get ready to sell the piece make sure you are dealing with someone who knows the importance of the art. Thanks again for sharing.

My pleasure to introduce this great piece to everyone. After I make a file I can get this farther out into the public, not to just sell, but to get this fine work shown to the rest of world. Thanks for all the tips Jason.