This delicate sterling silver pin/pendant was handcrafted by Zuni artist Arlita Lahi as a beautiful representation of traditional Zuni jewelry. Eighteen blue turquoise gemstones are arranged in a feminine floral pattern that is an exquisite display of the prized Zuni jewelry style of petit point.
Pin/pendant handcrafted by Arlita Lahi (Zuni) Sterling silver Blue turquoise Pin closure and small pendant bail that can accommodate beads, chains and cords that are less than 3/16” Pin/pendant measures 1-3/8” long x 1-1/4” wide.
Arlita Lahi is a Zuni jeweler who creates beautiful silver and turquoise cluster work in traditional petit point and needlepoint styles. The Lahi family are widely known for their lapidary and silversmithing skills, and they handcraft some of the finest examples of Zuni cluster work available.
In the early 20th century, Zuni artisans took silverwork and stone-cutting to a new level of precision with their cluster style jewelry designs. This pin is an extraordinary example of a traditional jewelry style that is prized by the Zuni people and jewelry collectors around the world. Cluster work is a jewelry style that is unique to the Zuni people and not found anywhere else in the world. Early Zuni jewelry resembled Navajo silverwork but in the 1920s and 1930s, Zuni artisans developed a signature style that involved setting large groups of hand cut gemstones into extremely intricate settings. The finely cut gems were often arranged in beautiful patterns that resembled flowers, snowflakes or wagon wheels. Though Zuni cluster work is most closely associated with turquoise, jet and coral, any gemstone may be used. Petit point and needlepoint are two types of Zuni cluster work and can be distinguished by the shape and size of the gemstones. Petit point refers to gems cut into round, oval, rectangle, pear or square shapes, while needle point refers to gems that have been cut into a thin sliver or needle shape. Cluster work is an extremely time consuming process and fewer and fewer artists are taking the time to hand cut their gemstones. A true piece of Zuni cluster jewelry is an exquisite piece of wearable art that showcases the unmatched lapidary skills of Zuni artists and will be an heirloom for generations to come.
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