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Channel Inlay Knifewing Bracelet with Fine Silverwork

C4103-01-bracelet.jpg

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  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo
  • Medium: Sterling Silver, Turquoise, Spondylus Shell, Mother of Pearl
  • Size:
    5-⅞” end to end;
    1-⅛” opening;
    2-⅝” wide
  • Item # C4103.01
  • Price: $1,595.00

Anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing, who lived with the Zunis from 1879-1884 described Knifewing this way:

“This curious god is the hero of hundreds of folklore tales, the tutelary deity of several societies of Zuni. He is represented as possessing a human form, furnished with flint knife-feathered pinions, and tail. His dress consists of the conventional terraced cap (representative of his dwelling place among the clouds). His weapons are the Great Flint-Knife of War, the Bow of the Skies (the Rainbow), and the Arrow of Lightning. His guardians or warriors are the Great Mountain Lion of the North and that of the upper regions. He was doubtless the original War God of the Zunis.”

This mid-century cuff features an amazing channel inlay Knifewing comprised of multiple pieces of turquoise, shell and jet. The stones were skillfully cut, shaped and set, creating the image of the Zuni deity. The silverwork surrounding the Knifewing is just as spectacular as the lapidary work. Finely chiseled wings of silver radiate out from the stonework. The shank was carefully hand fabricated and stamped.

It was during this time period that many traders had Zuni lapidary artists cut the stones and Navajo smiths form the silverwork. The filing and stampwork on the silver of this bracelet look to be the work of an expertly skilled silversmith, so the chances are this may have been a collaborative effort. It is a stunning example of work done in the 1940s and 1950s.  


Condition: The bracelet is in excellent condition. The stones are all intact and the silver has a beautiful patina that comes only from age.

Provenance: The Channel Inlay Knifewing Bracelet with Fine Silverwork comes from a gentleman Southwest Indian Jewelry collector in Colorado

Recommended Reading: Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths by John Adair

Alternate view of the side of this bracelet.


  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo
  • Medium: Sterling Silver, Turquoise, Spondylus Shell, Mother of Pearl
  • Size:
    5-⅞” end to end;
    1-⅛” opening;
    2-⅝” wide
  • Item # C4103.01
  • Price: $1,595.00

C4103-01-bracelet.jpgC4103-01-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.