Navajo Sterling Silver and Turquoise Cast Bracelet by Francis Begay

C4357E-bracelet.jpg

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Francis L. Begay, Diné Jeweler
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Sterling Silver and Turquoise
  • Size: 5-½” end to end;
    1” opening; 1” wide;
    Size 6-½
  • Item # C4357E
  • Price: $350.00

This elegant hand cast Diné silver bracelet by Francis Begay contains two deep green oval turquoise gemstones set on either side of a diamond shaped center. The turquoise is set in sawtooth bezels that are framed by a section of twisted wire. 

The cast method was one of two early methods of jewelry making utilized by Diné silversmiths. According to David Neuman in an article from El Palacio Volume 32, no. 7-8 February 1932, “There are two types of technique, wrought and cast, though many finished pieces combine the two . . . 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.” 

Francis Begay hallmark signature FL BEGAYIn the traditional manner, Diné silversmith F.L. Begay first carefully carved a mold with an elaborate, curving design. He then poured molten silver into the mold. After shaping the bracelet and polishing it, the artist added two matching green turquoise cabochons. The bracelet is signed with the Begay’s hallmark, FL BEGAY. It was made during the last quarter of the twentieth century. 

Condition: The Navajo Sterling Silver and Turquoise Cast Bracelet by Francis Begay is in excellent condition.  

Provenance: From a collector in Albuquerque

Recommended Reading:  El Palacio, Volume 32, nos. 7-8, February 1932, pp.102-108  By David L Neumann

Relative Links: Diné of the Navajo Nation, Native American Jewelry, Francis L. Begay

Different side views.

Francis L. Begay, Diné Jeweler
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Sterling Silver and Turquoise
  • Size: 5-½” end to end;
    1” opening; 1” wide;
    Size 6-½
  • Item # C4357E
  • Price: $350.00

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