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This is a small squash blossom necklace. While usually associated with Navajo silversmiths, squash blossom necklaces were also made and worn by the Pueblo and Zunis.
The Zuni necklaces usually feature a needlepoint designs. By the 1820's, Southern Plains metalworkers had learned the processes of cutting, stamping and cold hammering. Much of this work was produced in German Silver. German silver was a different alloy as compared with the Mexican silver, which was often used by the Navajo.
As is typical the beads are strung on a foxtail small chain. This is a small petite necklace, while typically these are quite large.
This was probably originally intended for a small woman or child. However, this smaller size works well for all women in todays fashion. ALSO because it is smaller it does not cost 1000's of dollars!!!!
ERA: Ca 1970's -1980's.
MARKS: The Naja or central crescent is marked sterling. There is also a makers mark of an underlined T.
CONDITION: The beads and turquoise look fine. The necklace appears to have a curve or twist to it when being worn.
SIZE: 18-1/2" long. Naja measures 1-1/8" by 1-1/8".
HISTORY: It is believed that the flower symbol that we see in necklaces was brought to the Navajo at the turn of the century, the 1800's to the 1900's. This blossom has long petals just beginning to open. These hang from the sides of the beads. This is supposed to be a Spanish-Mexican pomegranate flower. The turquoise inlay patterns were a Zuni innovation in the 19th century. The squash blossom necklace serves as a reminder of the close interaction between the Pueblo and Navajo Indians since the mid 1800s. The Southwest Indian squash blossom jewelry necklaces originated not just from one of the people, but from many.
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