Navajo Silver Sandcast Bracelet with Spiderweb Turquoise [SOLD]

C4220B-bracelet.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Silver and Turquoise
  • Size: 1-¾” Wide
    5-½” End to End; 1” Opening
  • Item # C4220B
  • SOLD

For the last one hundred and fifty years there have been only two basic techniques used to make Diné jewelry— wrought and cast. Wrought work is hand hammered and shaped. Casting involves pouring molten silver into a mold. An article from a 1932 article in El Palacio by David Neumann describes the technique of casting as such: “The cast work is made by cutting the mold in a suitable stone; gypsum-like earths, of which infusorial or diatomaceous earth seems a favorite, serve well. The mold is cut in a flat stone which is then covered with a second flat stone through which a hole has been drilled to allow the metal to enter the mold. Thus the finished article, being filed smooth on the front side only, often show the grain of the mold on the back quite clearly.”

The focal point of this bracelet is a single oval cabochon of spiderweb turquoise that was carefully set in a silver sandcast frame. An unknown Diné silversmith fashioned a unique sunburst element to surround the turquoise. The result is a classic sandcast bracelet, one that is emblematic to Diné jewelry. Diné silversmiths began adding stones to silver at the end of the 19th century. The combination of silver and turquoise has since come to be associated with Southwestern jewelry. This bracelet was made in the second half of the 20th century.

Spiderweb Turquoise is a term used to describe turquoise that looks like a spiderweb. It is not associated with any one mine, but many mines, located in Arizona and Nevada, some of the most notable being Kingman, Number 8, Lander Blue, Lone Mountain, Candelaria and others. The stunning black matrix in the spiderweb cabochon in this bracelet is accentuated by the dark patina of the silver. The bracelet is unsigned.


Condition: The Navajo Silver Sandcast Bracelet with Spiderweb Turquoise is in excellent condition. The gemstone is intact and the silver is solid.

Provenance: The bracelet is from a member of the Maisel family of Albuquerque. Adobe Gallery has just learned that after 42 years of business, the owner of Skip Maisel's Indian Jewelry & Crafts is retiring and closing his iconic store on Central in the heart of Downtown Albuquerque.

Recommended Reading: El Palacio Archive Vol. 32, no. 7-8 (February 24, 1932)

Relative Links: Southwest Indian JewelryDiné - Navajo NationBracelets


Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Silver and Turquoise
  • Size: 1-¾” Wide
    5-½” End to End; 1” Opening
  • Item # C4220B
  • SOLD

C4220B-bracelet.jpgC4220B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.