Personalized Vintage Squash Blossom Style Silver Necklace [SOLD]

C4599D-necklace.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver, turquoise, coin, string
  • Size: 22” long; 1-½” diameter naja
  • Item # C4599D
  • SOLD

This vintage necklace started off with sterling silver handmade beads, popularly referred to as Navajo Pearls.  The maker would have been a Diné of the Navajo Nation.  The eventual owner, probably a Pueblo Indian, applied a “pueblo wrap” for comfort in wearing, then set about to personalize and embellish the silver beads with additional items.  A main silver naja with a suspended cross was hooked onto the beads. 

A smaller silver naja with open hands and a fleur-de-lis with a small turquoise cab was added, along with another similar naja without the turquoise cabochon, and a third even smaller naja with a cross and a pair of turquoise cabochons at the ends.  A flat beautiful polished turquoise disc was tied onto the beads. 

The most unusual added item is a United States Seated Liberty dime coin dated 1853.  It is tied to the "pueblo wrap" (string wrapped around and coiled tightly - usually used in necklaces to secure them) so that it hangs behind the neck.

The most unusual added item is a United States Seated Liberty dime coin dated 1853.  It is tied to the pueblo wrap so that it hangs behind the neck

Naja: Early Navajo-made jewelry contained elements that were borrowed directly from Spanish colonial and Mexican ornament. One of these items is the naja, a crescent form of Moorish origin. The Spanish conquerors in the Southwest outfitted their horses in elaborate silver ornaments—one of which was the naja that hung directly on the forehead of the horse as a part of the bridle.

What is a Naja? Early Navajo-made jewelry contained elements that were borrowed directly from Spanish colonial and Mexican ornament. One of these items is the naja, a crescent form of Moorish origin. The Spanish conquerors in the Southwest outfitted their horses in elaborate silver ornaments—one of which was the naja that hung directly on the forehead of the horse as a part of the bridle.  Today, it is still seen in both Pueblo and Navajo modern jewelry.


Condition: good condition with evidence of wear

Provenance: this Personalized Vintage Squash Blossom Style Silver Necklace is from the collection of a client from Oklahoma

Recommended Reading: Heart of the Dragonfly: Historical Development of the Cross Necklaces of the Pueblo and Navajo Peoples by Allison Bird

Another similar naja with open hands and a fleur-de-lis without the turquoise cabochon
A main silver naja with a suspended cross was hooked onto the beads
A third even smaller naja with a cross and a pair of turquoise cabochons at the ends
A flat beautiful polished turquoise disc was tied onto the beads
A smaller silver naja with open hands and a fleur-de-lis with a small turquoise cab was added
Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver, turquoise, coin, string
  • Size: 22” long; 1-½” diameter naja
  • Item # C4599D
  • SOLD

C4599D-necklace.jpgC4599D-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.