Navajo Heavy Silver Jewelry Bracelet with Fine File Work

C4214G-bracelet.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver
  • Size: 5-¼” end to end, 1” opening; ⅜” wide
  • Item # C4214G
  • Price: $800.00

This Navajo Heavy Silver Jewelry Bracelet is simply elegant in a way that can only be achieved by expert craftsmanship.The perfectly symmetrical file work on this early- to mid-20th century bracelet immediately catches one’s eye. The design by an unknown Diné artist was hand-filed by a carefully and skillfully rendered five starburst designs on a rounded band of silver. On the ends are stamped two arrows. 

The very first Diné bracelets, made during the middle of the 19th century were decorated by simple chiseling. A silversmith would shape a band of silver and use a file to add design. While this bracelet dates to the 1940s or 1950s, it has the look and feel of a very early bracelet. 

The Diné began working with silver in the middle of the 19th century. By the end of the 1880s, they had perfected the art and had developed their own distinct style. The 1880s brought the railroad to Navajo country and with it, the reservation trading system. At the trading post, artists had access to new tools and materials. With these advances, the quality and quantity of Diné silversmithing spread quickly. 

According to John Adair in The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmith, “In 1897 Washington Matthews wrote: ‘The [silver] work has improved since I wrote of it in 1881, with the introduction of better tools. Then the smith built his forge on the ground and squatted to do his work. Now he builds it on an elevated frame and sits on a stool or chair to work.’”

This bracelet fits on the wrist with a gentle ease that can only come with age. It is an example of classic Diné design. It is unsigned. 


Condition: The Navajo Heavy Silver Jewelry Bracelet with Fine File Work is in very good condition.

Provenance: From a Colorado collection

Recommended Reading:  The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths by John Adair

Relative Links: Southwest Indian Jewelry, Navajo Nation, Bracelets

Alternate view of this Navajo silver bracelet.


Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver
  • Size: 5-¼” end to end, 1” opening; ⅜” wide
  • Item # C4214G
  • Price: $800.00

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