Diné Silver and Turquoise Thunderbird Earrings [SOLD]


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Jeweler Once Known

Thunderbird Earrings: A Legacy of the Fred Harvey Company and Navajo Craftsmanship

The Fred Harvey Company had its silversmiths produce jewelry with various "Indian symbols" which buyers would then associate with Native tribes—arrows, swastikas, horses, thunderbirds, etc.—with the thunderbird being the prominent one. The Fred Harvey Company logo was the thunderbird which symbolized "Sacred bearer of Happiness unlimited."

The Native American jewelers working for the Fred Harvey Company did not put their names on works they created for the company. Much of the early Harvey jewelry was made in job shops by Indian silversmiths. Harvey jewelry was deliberately made with thin silver to reduce the weight as it was believed that traditional Navajo jewelry of heavy weight would not be popular.

Each earring is stamped STERLING.

This pair of thunderbird earrings was made from thin silver and may or may not be Fred Harvey jewelry. Each earring is stamped STERLING but without any further identification of the once known Diné of the Navajo Nation jeweler. Each has a single turquoise cabochon. The Fred Harvey Company closed in 1955. These earrings probably date to the mid-twentieth century. Navajo who made jewelry for the company continued producing such items even after the company closed.

Condition: very good condition

Provenance: these Diné Silver and Turquoise Thunderbird Earrings are from the collection of a client of Adobe Gallery

Recommended Reading: Fred Harvey Jewelry 1900-1955 by Dennis June

TAGS: Southwest Indian JewelryDiné - Navajo Nation

Earrings PAIR shown on a darker background.

Jeweler Once Known
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