Diné Sterling Silver Lidded Pill Box with Stamped Designs [SOLD]

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Silver Objects
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: sterling silver
  • Size: 1-1/16” x 15/16” x ½” deep
  • Item # C4281.19
  • SOLD

This small lidded Navajo silver pill box features a fanciful stamped design on the lid.  The central motif is a circle with rays flowing from it. This design is surrounded by four semicircle or new moon designs with a point and circle at each of the four directions.  There is a sun symbol on each of the four corners. The lid is attached with two handmade silver hinges. The overlap edges of the lid are decorated with a continuous line of semicircles. All four side walls have stamped sunset rays.

One must be in awe of the artisans who create such small objects with such care and detail.  Each item like this reflects the Diné understanding of their way of life which they call hozho—a life of beauty and balance.  In the Diné beliefs, too much of anything disturbs the balance and a ceremony must then be performed to bring one back in balance with nature.

According to John Torres Nez: The concept of balance is equally central to Navajo art and silverwork.  Hozho so permeates Navajo life that its expression may not even be noticed by the artists themselves.  The Navajo word for silver is beesh ligaii [white metal], pronounced besh likai, and it has even become a common last name among Navajo silversmith, as in Fred Peshlakai.  Unlike weaving, which has a long history among the Navajo, silverwork is relatively new, probably only 150 years old. Nevertheless, the Navajo aesthetic and the concept of hozho are quite evident in [these silver boxes].  Beesh Ligaii In Balance: The Besser Collection Of Navajo And Pueblo Silverwork, 2005:9


Condition: this Diné Sterling Silver Lidded Pill Box with Stamped Designs is in very good condition

Provenance: from the extensive silver collection of a client from Washington, DC

Recommended Reading:

- Navajo and Pueblo Jewelry and Metalwork 1880-1950 by Robert Bauver

Masterworks and Eccentricities: The Druckman Collection

Beesh Ligaii In Balance: The Besser Collection Of Navajo And Pueblo Silverwork by John Torres-Nez

Relative Links: Diné of the Navajo NationSouthwest Indian Jewelry: Silver Objects

Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Silver Objects
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: sterling silver
  • Size: 1-1/16” x 15/16” x ½” deep
  • Item # C4281.19
  • SOLD

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