"Wolf Robe" Hunt (aka Wayne Henry Hunt) was born at Acoma Pueblo in 1905 and died in 1977. He was the son of potter and weaver Morning Star, and Edward Hunt, an incredible Native American who in 1928 and at the age of 64 took his family--Wolf Robe included--to the Smithsonian Museum and recounted the story of Sky City (Acoma) and the origin myth. See this article, which shows the Hunt family in full regalia on their visit to Washington, DC: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/pasatiempo/books/readings_signings/the-story-of-sky-city-edward-hunt-and-the-acoma/article_ce743b7a-666d-58af-bd05-6fbad4abe3de.html
And so it is no wonder that Wolf Robe Hunt, Edward's son, became a renowned jeweler, painter, and sculptor whose works are highly prized and collected today. Wolf Robe attended Albuquerque High School and took private art lessons from famous Albuquerque artist, Carl Redin. Hunt moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and opened his own Indian arts shop there. He also studied art under Frank Vonderlachen in Tulsa. Today Wolf Robe Hunt jewelry is listed and represented in national galleries.
The piece I have here is a small ring, and I have to wonder how much of that has to do with the size of people's hands seventy to eighty years ago. Hunt died at the age of 72. Assuming he made this ring when he was in his 30s or 40s, before he moved to Tulsa and began running a trading post, the ring would date to the late 1930s/1940s. The turquoise cabachon is chipped with age. The hand-stamped silver thunderbird is vibrant and clear, and the stamping along the edge of the double-shank band is still visible though worn. Remember that soon after this time frame was when companies like Bell Trading and Fred Harvey boomed, and the thunderbird symbol flourished. You have to wonder how much of that was replicated from exactly this kind of authentic design.
The ring is in good vintage condition. Some scratching, particularly on the inside back (see photo 5) although you can still make out the tiny stamp "WOLF-ROBE". The ring is size 4.75, which on most people today would make it a pinky ring. The thunderbird setting measures about 5/8" across and about 3/4" long. The turquoise cab is just over 1/8" wide and 5/8" long.
I am honored to hold this small yet powerful piece of the past, even if only for a short time.
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