Zuni Butterfly Earrings

Hello there. I found these gorgeous inlay earrings, very large, in the form of a butterfly. The only marks are Sterling and “I” in a circle. I have searched but only come up with four other items identified with that mark. One was a bangle with inlay and the other a pendant with a bear’s nail and inlay. There were also two wonderful examples of some inlay work earrings by the same maker. My piece seems to be quite old, but incredibly well made. At the end here, I’ve added pictures of the other two earrings that bear the same mark.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.




These are beautiful earrings. I am sorry but I don’t have my reference books, I’m sure someone will recognize the hallmark though. What I can tell you, is that these are modern- made earrings (made in the 1980’s or after). You can date them because of the post earring back which became popular during this time. Also, the geometric style of Inlay indicates a modern earring. The materials used are turquoise, mother-of-pearl, and spiny oyster :slight_smile:

Now, after looking at the other examples you’ve posted, I am not entirely sure these are Native American. The Inlay looks done by hand, but the silver looks like it was cast? I’m thinking this hallmark is indicative of a southwestern line of jewelry, similar to that of Carolyn Pollack or Carol Felley.

I am going to provide a few images so I can show what I am trying to explain. If you will notice how the silver work is not clean with the butterfly, almost like everything flows together. Also, the stamp work around the inlay doesn’t appear to be the same stamp, you can find the design in different sizes. Plus, when you show the backside the hallmark or sterling stamp is not clear. The reason is the earring is not hand made.

The long earring looks handmade, but you are saying it has the same hallmark? Did you see the hallmark? Is it unclear like the butterfly?

The one thing is the color of the stones, lots of shells. This could be an indication of not being authentic Zuni, but the hallmark will tell us more. Usually the shell is subtle.

The hearts show a much cleaner silver work. However, those stones are not real.