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Kirk Smith Sterling & Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace
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~ Handmade by master Navaho silversmith, Kirk Smith, this incredible squash blossom necklace is an extraordinary work of art. The squash blossom design was inspired by the silver adornments on the saddles and bridles of the horses of the Spaniards when they arrived in the Americas in the 16th century. A Navaho tradition evolved and, over time, became part of their culture. A true squash blossom necklace must have a Naja (pronounced "Nah Hah"), which is the part that hangs from the bottom. It resembles a horse shoe.
~ On this extraordinary squash blossom necklace, each turquoise gem has been set into 11 bezels that have scalloped edges, with deeply engraved etchings (rays of the sun), and sterling beads (raindrops). Each of these settings has been hand cut and each is a different size and shape to honor the inner nature of each unique stone. Each gemstone ranges in size from 1" to 1.25" long.
~ Kirk selected beautiful, natural turquoise gems, all perfectly matched, from the Blue Gem Mine. This becomes confusing because there were two Blue Gem Mines located in New Mexico adjacent to the old Cerrillos Mine. There are also several smaller mines in Nevada with the same name, all of which are closed today. The real Blue Gem Mine is located near the town of Battle Mountain, Nevada. This mine was opened about 1934 and has been operational until recently. This mine was, however, the most important producer of high grade, gem quality turquoise in every imaginable shade of blue & green. The gems have very little porosity so they are not apt to change color. This mine produced both blue and green turquoise which are highly prized and very hard, gem grade. Sometimes, both blue and green are found in an individual gem. What characterizes this turquoise is the strong, intense color, in either color, which you can see in the necklace!
~ Necklace measures 24" long; the Naja was sand cast, and you can see the faint casting marks on its back and sides; it measures 2.75" long and 2.25" wide; the back of the Naja is marked "STERLING" and is signed "Kirk Smith"
~ The sterling beads are also hand-made. They are hollow, which is traditional for the beads a Navajo calls his, "Pearls". It is infinitely much more work to make the 2-piece beads hollow, but it makes the necklace a comfortable weight to wear
~ These turquoise gemstones are 100% natural and untreated. This is a quality piece worthy of any gallery or museum as indicated by it's total weight of 212 grams.
~ The earrings are shown but are not included
~ Kirk Smith is wildly successful and a very original artist, as you can see. His work is in strong demand by galleries and collectors world-wide. He has won numerous prizes, and his pieces are in the famous Heard Museum Collection.
c. 1980, in mint condition
Price = $1,357.00Sold Thank You
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