Diné Silver Bracelet with Two Repoussé Bars and Stampwork

C4310i-bracelet.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver
  • Size: Face is 1-1/2” tall
    Back Opening gap is 1-⅛”
    2-½” wide measuring across
    Wrist Size: 6-3/4”
  • Item # C4310i
  • Price: $425.00

This early twentieth century Navajo bracelet features classic stampwork, repoussé bars, and interesting native repairs. The central design element of the 1-½” wide cuff is two oval repousse bars that are framed with scalloped stampwork and tiny diamond designs. Small tadpole stamps and repoussé sunbursts adorn the sides. On the ends of the bracelet the artist has created a fanciful flower surrounded by crescent shaped motifs. 

After learning how to work metal in the late nineteenth century, Diné silversmiths began using stampwork on silver influenced by Mexican leatherwork.  Early twentieth century Diné silver jewelry is characterized by unique design elements created by the innovative use of simple shaped stamps. In addition to stampwork, artisans used repoussé as a way of adding a different texture.  Repoussé is a technique in which metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side.

The bracelet has been repaired by soldering sections of silver bars to the interior. On one side, it looks as if the bracelet was broken and pieced together. On the other side, there is only evidence of the bracelet being reinforced. Native repairs such as these add to the history of a piece, acknowledging that the wearer loved the piece so much, that time and energy were spent to be able to continue to wear it.  

This early Diné bracelet is unsigned as was typical for the time period. 

Note: when we say Diné, as opposed to Navaho or Navajo, we are referring to the people and not the government.  Since 1969, their government refers to itself as the Navajo Nation.

Condition: The Diné Silver Bracelet with Two Repoussé Bars and Stampwork is in good shape, the native repairs only adding to the charm of the piece. 

Provenance: From a Santa Fe collection

Recommended Reading: Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths by John Adair

Relative Links: Southwest Indian JewelryNavajo NationBracelets


HOW TO MEASURE YOUR WRIST FOR BRACELET SIZE

Alternate side view of this silver bracelet.

Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver
  • Size: Face is 1-1/2” tall
    Back Opening gap is 1-⅛”
    2-½” wide measuring across
    Wrist Size: 6-3/4”
  • Item # C4310i
  • Price: $425.00

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