This vintage cuff bracelet of turquoise and copper hails from Albuquerque icon, Bell Trading Company, and was made in the 1970s. We know that as the small logo on the interior is actually for Sunbell Corporation, which is the name that Bell Trading took on in 1969. Bell Trading was founded in Albuquerque in 1932, employed mainly Navajo and Zuni artists and distributed jewelry to gift shops in tourist locations all along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway as well as Route 66. Hence, Bell catered to the influx of tourists that came to the Southwest in the first half of the 20th Century, fascinated by Native American cultures, the unique architecture of this area, and uncommon landscapes. When Sunbell was formed, the company was large enough to specialize in different product lines, and they had a copperware jewelry and home decor line that was called "Gregorian." Jewelry with copper and turquoise was from the "Corinthian" line, and I can only imagine that the theme of Greek cultures was perhaps to differentiate the exotic color of copper from that of silver, which people more commonly associated with the Southwest. The copper cuff is, of course, not at all Greek but instead made here in Albuquerque, and more than likely by Navajo, although given it carries the Sunbell label, we call it Southwestern or Native style. These cuff bracelets do come up occasionally, and this one has especially beautiful turquoise in abstract style bezels. There are five turquoise pieces, which makes it a contemporary take of a traditional five-stone cuff.
This cuff measures about 3/4" across the top. Taking a soft tape measure around the inside, the bracelet measures 5-3/8" around with a just under 7/8" gap, or a total of about 6-1/4". Because it is made on the wide and flat side versus compact and round, it could fit up to about a 6-3/8" to 6-1/2" wrist, I believe. Weighs 61g. Some tarnish on the sides of the copper but otherwise in good condition. Original Sunbell sticker and 1976 copyright still on the interior, indicating that the piece was not worn a lot, as the sticker would not have stayed all that time.
Gorgeous and unusual part of Southwestern history.
Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.
For More Native Bracelets and Watches: https://bit.ly/2NpeypL
Native American Rings: http://bit.ly/2HQXwyY
Native American Earrings: http://bit.ly/2FyZ8wy
Native Necklaces, Pendants, and Pins: http://bit.ly/2ESs4Tf
Native Belts and Bolos: http://bit.ly/2oz2XKp
All items: https://romaarellano.com
1-3 business days
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We do NOT do reserves or holds. Like any business, we use sales proceeds to keep the shop running. We truly can't afford to take items off the market. But even if you have some funds with which to make a down payment, we can do layaway with you. Just convo to say you'd like to do a layaway, and we'll work with you on that route instead of a Hold or Reserve.
We get correspondance almost daily asking how much certain items are worth or what the price was of items that have sold, and we can no longer respond to these messages.
Jul 28, 2022
Very nice and unusual piece that will be a nice addition to the everyday wear jewelry collection, quick ship and always packaged well.