Hello and thank you for your interest in our inventory. Up for your consideration today is this OUTSTANDING and VERY RARE Sterling Silver with Natural HIGH GRADE Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace by Zuni Master Silversmith Dan Simplicio. This is one of the finest pieces of Dan Simplicio jewelry that I’ve ever seen. This work of art is adorned with Dan’s style stamped silver drops on the Squash Blossoms and the Naja. You will also see applied silver wire with stampwork on the Naja and the blossoms. All 180 of the sterling silver beads are handmade. The bezels are all flattened serrated which houses 28 EXCEPTIONAL High Grade Natural Turquoise Cabochon. Which to me looks like BISBEE Turquoise. The necklace measurements are L. 27" & Hangs 16" x Naja H. 2 ¾” x W. 2 5/8”. It dates circa 1930-50s.
Dan Simplicio Jr. has been verified that this squash blossom necklace was indeed made by his father Dan Simplicio Sr. This is truly an amazing piece of Zuni art.
Ref., American Indian Jewelry I: 1200 Artist Biographies
BY GREGORY SCHAFF ASSISTED BY ANGIE YAN SCHAAF
Dan Simplicio (Zuni, active ca. 1930s-69: traditional set stone, mosaic, channel inlay, silver leaf jewelry)
LIFESPAN: 1917 - 1969
RESIDENCE: Zuni Pueblo, NM
FAMILY: son of Simplicio (b. 1884) & Lytisilutza Simplicio (b. 1884); nephew of Juan Dideos; brother of Jesse Simplicio (b. 1912), Chauncey Simplicio (b. 1926), Rodney Simplicio (b. 1929), Kirk Simplicio; father of Mike Simplicio; uncle of Juan Calavaza
SERVICE: World War II veteran, wounded in action, Europe
TEACHER: Juan Dideos, his uncle
STUDENTS: Kirk Simplicio, Chauncey Simplicio, and Mike Simplicio
EXHIBITIONS: 2006, “Art of the Zuni,” Kennedy Museum, Ohio University, Akron, OH
COLLECTIONS: bolo, #KMA 89.016.945, Kennedy Museum, Ohio University, Akron, OH
PUBLICATIONS: Adair 1944:199; Ulian H. Steward, Indians In The War, Chicago, IL: United States Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs, November 1945. For a larger profile, see Schaaf 2003:290.
“Dan Simplicio learned jewelry making from his uncle, Juan Dedios. He, in turn, passed his knowledge on to younger Zuni artists, including his son Mike Simplicio and his nephew Juan Calavaza. One of the most innovative and wide-ranging Zuni artists, Simplicio was the first to develop styles and materials usage that have since become commonplace. He collaborated with a number of the most widely recognized masters of Zuni art, including Leekya Deyuse, Teddie Weahkee, Leo Poblano, Bernard Homer, and Lee Edaakie. “Early in his career, Simplicio worked at C. G. Wallace's Zuni trading post, grinding and setting stones. Wallace collected his work; and, when his collection was auctioned at Sotheby's in 1975, it included more than 50 pieces by Simplicio. In 1931, Dan Simplicio first set red coral and turquoise in handmade set bezels. This style remained popular to the present day. “Simplicio was the first to use branch coral in its natural form and the first to set rough-cut coral nuggets on rings. He originated the nugget style around 1948, in an attempt to make cheaper commercial imitation of Zuni jewelry more difficult, and he introduced extensive use of leafwork in Zuni jewelry. While Simplicio learned to carve leaves from Juan Dedios. His son, Dan Simplicio, Jr., credited his father's World War II army service in Europe with the development of this innovation. Stationed in France, Germany and Italy, he observed the use of leafwork in classical and modern Western European sculpture. The present generation of Simplicio family jewelers has carried on the use of the distinctively curved leaves that Dan originated. However, their leaves curve in the opposite direction from his, making it easy to distinguish their work. “Simplicio's jewelry has a highly individual look, resulting from its distinctive use of deep red branch coral with intense blue turquoise. Silver leafwork and stamped drops add texture and detail, creating a delicate counterpoint to the heavier turquoise and branch coral.” (Kennedy Museum)
An Outstanding Addition to Anyone’s Collection…
Inventory #: 486ZUN298
Size: L. 27" & Hangs 16" x Naja H. 2 ¾” x W. 2 5/8”
Artist/Hallmark: Dan Simplicio
Condition: Excellent Vintage Condition,
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