Navajo Heavy Silver Jewelry Bracelet with Fine File Work

C4214G-bracelet.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné of the 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


HOW TO MEASURE YOUR WRIST FOR BRACELET SIZE

Measure your wrist with a flexible tape measurement or a strip of paper just below the wrist bone, where you would normally wear the bracelet.

Option: If you are using a plain strip of paper, mark your size with a pen or pencil then use a ruler to measure the length. That would be your wrist size.

Tip: Do you want a snug or loose fit? Well, that really will vary between everyone. If you are buying a delicate bracelet, we suggest doing a snug fit. Most other bracelets should have a comfort fit except when buying large or thick cuffs or bangles. It's best to buy large bracelets with a loose fit so you don't feel like you are suffocating your wrist, or it will be worn over clothing.

 

 

Fitting Style Add inch(es) to wrist size
Snug Fit Add 1/4" to 1/2"
Comfort Fit Add 3/4" to 1"
Loose Fit Add 1 1/4"

Alternate view of this Navajo silver bracelet.


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

C4214G-bracelet.jpgC4214G-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.