Navajo Silver Squash Blossom Necklace with Graduated Turquoise Blossoms [SOLD]

C4294A-necklace.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Sterling Silver and Turquoise
  • Size: 24” long;
    Naja: 2” x 2”
    Largest Blossom: 1-¼”
  • Item # C4294A
  • SOLD

Twenty four turquoise cabochons set in classic straight edged bezels are the “blossoms” in this silver Navajo mid-century squash blossom necklace. Hanging from two strands of small hand made beads, the pendant naja has three turquoise cabs. Unlike the flower-like beads of more traditional style Diné  necklaces, the maker of this necklace creatively altered each blossom into a single elegant pendant.  

It is believed that the Navajo “squash blossom” necklace was first made around the turn of the last century.  The earliest mention of it was in a publication of the Franciscans in 1910. According to Woodward in A Brief History of Navajo Silversmithing: “It is my contention that all of these beads were originally Spanish-Mexican trouser and jacket ornaments. I have previously mentioned the extensive use of silver ball buttons and those which were fashioned to resemble the pomegranate.”  It’s a mystery how the necklace became known as a “squash blossom” as its precedence has been determined to be the pomegranate blossoms. The form does resemble the flower of the squash plant, and squash has been an article of diet in the Southwest since historic times, so perhaps that is a hint as to where the name derived. 

The naja is also of Spanish origin, by way of the Moors. From Margery Bedinger in Indian Silver: Navajo and Pueblo Jewelers: “The Moors carried this amulet to Spain, and the Spaniards in their turn to their North American colonies.”  Beginning as early as the 1880s, innovative and inventive Diné artists adapted the designs and made them their own. Today we associate a crescent-shaped pendant strung with uniquely-shaped beads as a traditional Diné form. 

A modern version of the heavier squash blossom necklace, this necklace is lighter and more delicate, making it easier to wear. It has a flowing elegance that allows it to hang gracefully. The necklace is unsigned.

 

Condition: The Navajo Silver Squash Blossom Necklace with Graduated Turquoise Blossoms is in excellent condition. 

Provenance: From a Colorado collector

Recommended Reading:

Navajo Silver: A Brief History of Navajo Silver by Arthur Woodward

Indian Silver: Navajo and Pueblo Jewelers by Margery Bedinger

Relative Links: necklaceNavajoSouthwest Indian Jewelry

Close up view of the Naja portion of this necklace.


Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Sterling Silver and Turquoise
  • Size: 24” long;
    Naja: 2” x 2”
    Largest Blossom: 1-¼”
  • Item # C4294A
  • SOLD

C4294A-necklace.jpgC4294A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.