Bell Trading Post Mid Century Petit Point Turquoise Bracelet

C4214L-bracelet.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Turquoise and Sterling Silver
  • Size: 5-¼” End to End;
    1-1/16” opening; ¾” wide
  • Item # C4214L
  • Price: $450.00

This Bell Trading Post bracelet contains nine small ovals of deep blue turquoise. It was made during the 1960s in Albuquerque by bench silversmiths working for Jack and Douglass Michelson. The bracelet consists of three bands. The outer bands are stamped with a series of crescents and small triangle designs. The center band holds the nine stones set in bezels and carefully placed on scalloped platform interspersed with small silver dots.

Bell trading began during the depression.  Like a lot of people during the Great Depression, Jack Michelson had to figure out a way to make a living. So in 1932 Michelson and his wife started up Bell Trading Company. They set up a trading post on Historic Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and sold to the tourists traveling west. Times were difficult and traders were always looking for ways to cut costs. Michelson was one of the first traders to mass produce jewelry catering to the tourists. Bench smiths would use bands of silver that were pre shaped in different gauges, and then they would stamp designs and set stones onto the bands. For smaller pieces of stone, they used a lower grade of turquoise that has been stabilized. The stabilized stones were softer and easier to shape.

Bell Trading Post HallmarkBell trading supplied gift and curio shops throughout the Southwest. Originally Michelson did not trademark the work from his trading post. After his death, his sons, Jack and Douglass,  filed the first company trademark. In 1962 a trademark was filed for Bell Trading Post. It is this trademark that is found stamped in this bracelet. This bracelet is a wonderful example of Mid-century Modern memorabilia from gift shops that  were found along the highways and the hotels of the American Southwest in the 1960s.


Condition: theis Bell Trading Post Mid Century Petit Point Turquoise Bracelet is in excellent condition.

Provenance: From a Southwest Indian Jewelry collector in Colorado

Recommended Reading:

Relative Links: Southwest Indian Jewelry, Navajo Nation, Bracelet

Alternate side view of this bracelet.

Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Turquoise and Sterling Silver
  • Size: 5-¼” End to End;
    1-1/16” opening; ¾” wide
  • Item # C4214L
  • Price: $450.00

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