The squash blossom necklace has become synonymous with Southwestern native American jewelry. The Navajo started working with silver in the 19th century and they quickly incorporated squash blossom beads into their necklaces. Some say that the squash blossom beads are modeled after pomegranates. The pendant or naja, resembles an upside-down horse shoe or crescent moon. The naja predates the squash blossom, and can be seen in old photographs on a plain necklace. The symbolism of these necklaces can be traced back to the Spanish and Moors.
This exceptional example of a Navajo squash blossom necklace dates to the mid 20th century, what some consider to be the peak of Navajo silver craftsmanship. Exquisitely crafted by hand of sterling silver and turquoise, the necklace features a double strand of handmade beads terminating to single strand, 10 hand made squash blossoms, a hook and eye closure, and a beautiful naja with eight pieces of turquoise. The turquoise are bezel set. The necklace is unmarked, it tests positive for sterling. It has not been polished and has a beautiful patina.
This superb necklace has been worn frequently changing the turquoise from a uniform color to various shades of green, an effect of body oils on natural untreated turquoise. The stones are all original to the necklace.
Dimensions: The necklace is 26" long, the naja pendant measures 2 7/8" long x 2 5/8" wide. The turquoise range in size from approximately 7mm x 7mm to 13mm x 15mm. Weight for the necklace is approximately 179 grams.
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