Diné Sterling Silver Salt and Pepper Shakers

C4464P-salt-pepper.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Silver Objects
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver
  • Size: 1-⅛” height x 1-½” diameter
  • Item # C4464P
  • Price: $395

The bottom of each shaker has a hole, but no stopper was made by the artist.  A small cork stopper could be used if one wished to actually use the shakers.This sterling silver salt and pepper shaker set was fashioned in the shape of mushrooms by a Diné of the Navajo Nation.  Each container rests on a domed pedestal that has typical Diné stamped designs.  The workmanship is extraordinary.   The bottom of each shaker has a hole, but no stopper was made by the artist.  A small cork stopper could be used if one wished to actually use the shakers.  The dispenser holes are arranged in an S and a P shape.

Boxes, ashtrays, tableware, and other items of silver are typically the work of the Diné silversmith.  Many smiths do not want to make such items but prefer to make items of wearable jewelry.  The geometrics of shapes for such items as this salt and pepper set are difficult to master.

The end of World War II ushered in a new period in Navajo silverwork—with change and innovation affecting the output.  Gearing products to the white market became the focus, with items such as hair ornaments, brooches, pendants, cufflinks, watch bands, key chains, and non-jewelry items such as boxes, trays, tableware, desk furnishings, bookends, candle snuffers, and other items of interest to non-Indians.


Condition: very good condition

Provenance: these Diné Sterling Silver Salt and Pepper Shakers arefrom the collection of a gentleman from Colorado

Recommended Reading: Navajo Spoons: Indian Artistry and the Souvenir Trade, 1880s-1940s by Cindra Kline

Alternate view.