Anybody familiar with Native American silver work knows the fine reputation of their silversmiths. The fine stone inlay work on this pendant is a tribute to the Zuni artist who made it. This is an early pendant consisting of a heavy silver loop from which a quail, or bobwhite, is suspended hanging free on the inside of the loop. There is decorative stamp work on the surface of the loop and roping around the outside edge. The quail is made with inlays that consist of several types of stone. They appear to be coral, mother-of-pearl, turquoise, and other unidentified materials. The quail is backed with a piece of heavy gauge sheet silver that has been decorated with wirework and traditional stamped designs. The workmanship is superb, the condition is very good, and the weight of the piece is heavy. The large silver loop has a slight curve to it with some minor twisting. There are some chips on the inlaid stone work that look original to the piece. Overall, the condition is consistent with the age of the piece.
The silver loop measures 2 1/8 by 2 5/8 inches and the quail is about 1 5/8 inches long. The composition of early Native American silver was never stamped. The pendant is suspended from a wonderful antique chain with clasp, both of unknown composition, that measures 38 inches from end to end. There is no question that whoever wears this will certainly get many compliments. This one-of-a-kind item has all of the qualities that one would expect in a piece that was probably sold to the early railroad tourists by the Indians at the Harvey Houses along the railways. If you collect early Southwestern silver or pawn, then this is a unique item and is something that you do not want to miss. It is a very handsome necklace and once it is gone you will probably never find another one.
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