Fred Harvey Style Silver and Turquoise Dragonfly Navajo Pin [SOLD]


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Jeweler Unknown

The delightful classic form of a dragonfly has been re-created in silver and turquoise in this Navajo pin. Rendered in the style made popular beginning in the 1890s by the Fred Harvey Company, this pin features exquisite stamp work and a single nugget of natural turquoise.

Fred Harvey came to the United States from England at the age of fifteen. He began working as a dishwasher, eventually owning a chain of hotels and restaurants along the newly formed Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. He was instrumental in defining what Indian art should look like. Everything from the architecture of his hotels to the china used in the dining cars on the trains, to the souvenirs sold in the gift shops was intended to define the Southwest experience.

The Fred Harvey Company marketed and sold Pueblo pottery, Navajo weavings, baskets from many tribes, Hopi Kachina Dolls and jewelry made by both Navajo and Pueblo silversmiths. The designs, shapes, colors and quality of all of these items were influenced by the buyers the Harvey company hired. His early advisor in these endeavors was Hermann Schweitzer. In the book Inventing the Southwest: The Fred Harvey Company and Native American Art by Kathleen Howard and Diana Pardue, Schweitzer’s ideas for jewelry design are described: “Schweizer compiled a large collection of well-made Native American jewelry which served as a guide for the lighter weight objects sold to tourists. Although the percentage of silver content, the stamped designs, and the quality of the turquoise stones changed in the tourist jewelry, the basic concept remained the same. Native American silversmiths were encouraged to make jewelry forms such as brooches, earrings and pendants that were not typically made and worn by southwestern Native Americans but were compatible in form to jewelry worn by Euro-Americans during the early 1900s.”

This charming dragonfly pin was executed with skill and a sense of classic style that shows the influence of the Fred Harvey Company. It is unsigned.

Condition: this Fred Harvey Style Silver and Turquoise Dragonfly Navajo Pin is in excellent condition

Provenance: from a Santa Fe Collector

Recommended Reading: Inventing the Southwest: The Fred Harvey Company and Native American Art by Kathleen Howard and Diana Pardue

Relative Links: Southwest Indian Jewelry, Fred Harvey Company, Jewelry Pins, Navajo Nation, Pueblo Pottery, Navajo Weavings, Baskets, Hopi Kachina Dolls

Jeweler Unknown
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