Zuni sunface ring

I think this may be my best flea market acquisition so far. $45–I think I got a deal!


Yes you did! I’d be delighted to own that ring. That is by Marie Qualo. Her sunfaces have what I think of as a “kewpie doll” pout – a tiny triangle at the base, with perfectly straight eyebrows that look attached directly to the “skullcap” above. Also, she sets a small triangle of turquoise in the jet petals that make up the “sun rays,” and puts large rain beads in between the petals. If you had a copy of my three-volume set of “Zuni: The Art & the People,” you could place your ring right on the page showing her work and it would be a match with one of the book pictures.

I really like her work, and I’ve got earrings that match your ring and a bolo. I’ve also got a cuff & ring but in a different design, without the blue insets in the petals.

Wow, thanks for the info! I knew it was a beautifully made sunface and a great deal, but I didn’t think I’d ever be able to find out who made it because it’s unstamped and sunface designs are so common. Now that I have her name and look her up though I see that it’s a perfect match. Thanks! Do you know what period she is/was active over?

Hougart’s says Marie Qualo was born around 1925 and was active 1950s-1970s. Yes, sun faces are common, but if you look at a lot of them, you start seeing how they differ from each other. I’m still learning, but I know Marie Qualo’s work when I see it.

Also in each example I own, and in yours, the face is iridescent and the sun rays, though white, are more matte.

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