Artists Virgil & Shirley Benn creations will be collected forever. Their art is a remarkable display of tradition, innovation and excellence. Virgil, born in 1935, is of Zuni and Pauite ancestry and Shirley, born in 1936, is of Hopi and Tewa ancestry. She is also the great-granddaughter of the famous Hopi potter, Nampeyo, as well as being a pottery artist during the 1970's-1980's. Virgil and Shirley collaborate to create masterpieces in mosaic and channel inlay technique of jewelry making.
The Koshari is a signature style of theirs and is inspired by the drawings of Raymond Naha, Shirley's brother. Composed of jet, shells, spiny oyster, coral and turquoise. A Koshari plays the role of a clown during Native American ceremonies. The Koshari plays tricks, acts out absurd pantomimes or cleverly mimics spectators. In a humorous way, the clown helps maintain community harmony by reminding people of acceptable standards of behavior within the Hopi community.
This fantastic Koshari bolo tie, circa 1970's, is the largest and finest example of their work I have ever seen. The figure measures 6" in length and 2 1/2" inches in width. The hand-woven leather cord measures about 32" in length with each of the silver ends measuring 2" in length for a total length of 40". The back has an attached loop so a silver chain can replace the leather cord so it can be worn as a pendant necklace by the lady of the house. Engraved with a complete signature "Virgil & Shirley Benn", which is rare to find on their pieces. The piece is in as near mint condition as you will find, with no damage of any kind. The silver still maintains it's original aged patina. If it was ever worn, it was on very special occasions. This is an opportunity for the serious collector to obtain a piece of art by one of the best Native American silversmiths of our time.
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