Vintage Morenci Turquoise w/ Pyrite in Sterling Silver Shadowbox Cuff Size 6.25, Native American

$675.75 $795.00

Shadowbox is a technique used by Navajo silversmiths to showcase a particularly beautiful gemstone, and in this case, we can see why such a unique shadowbox design was used. The turquoise stone in the bracelet is not large, and it is off-set toward the bottom of a silver design shaped like a large teardrop. That stone has bright blue tones but the overriding characteristic is a pyrite inclusion that takes up almost all of the stone's body. This inclusion is the hallmark of Morenci turquoise, and given the size of the stone relative to the "frame" around it, we can almost miss that the feature is turquoise. Fortunately, the main pyrite inclusion is offset toward one end of the stone, so we do see that brilliant blue on the other side. There is so much to love about this bracelet--it is wholly unique--and one of the things that I notice is how the off-set design of the shadowbox is almost a mirror of the off-set nature of the silver in the stone. Also, that shape of the shadowbox is not common, and it is a nod to clean modernist lines of the mid-century. Shadowbox was especially popular in the 1980s, but it appeared at least a decade earlier, when this piece was likely made, influenced by modern design of that era and the decades before. The shadowbox foundation is set on a shank that is equally modernist--a single piece of silver that is ribbed. The piece overall has a softness to it, that shadowbox layering curved at edges where the cutout domed top layer is soldered to the solid bottom later. Often shadowbox pieces can get dents due to the interior being hollow. This piece is near pristine. The only real condition issue is a stubborn dot that was likely a dot of acid used in an acid test to confirm it was sterling silver.
I have tried to remove that dot, but it will need more elbow grease than I want to expend, as any further cleaning will result in small scratches. A skilled silversmith could buff it out and give the overall silver top a nice polish, which is the better approach. I don't find that dot to take away, and so I'll leave it to the next owner to decide whether to pursue that buffing or not. Carries no artist hallmark; we believe this is Navajo.

The bracelet measures about 2-1/4" top to bottom and taking a soft tape measure along the interior it is about 5" with a 1-1/4" gap for a total length of 6-1/4" around. Weighs a substantial 83g. The back has an artist hallmark, an etched LM; I've not been able to identify the maker. It could be an early mark for Navajo Leonard Maloney or Leonard & Marian Nez, but there is no way of knowing for certain since their documented marks are a different style.

A piece of art you can wear.

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Note that due to lighting plus monitor settings for brightness, contrast and other factors, there may be differences in the colors and tones of photos versus that of the actual item. Please message with questions and I will respond as soon as possible.

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Native Bracelets, Watches, Cufflinks: https://bit.ly/2NpeypL
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