This vintage bolo tie features a sterling silver slider with a distinctive rattlesnake design by Zuni artist Wayne Cheama. The snake has amazing details with well-defined eyes, raised scales, and finely detailed rattles. It winds its way between two red coral and three green turquoise stones. The genuine turquoise and coral cabochons are set in scalloped bezels, and additional raised silver balls add texture and interest. The sides of the slider have a banded raised design. This piece actually has more similarities to Navajo designs than Zuni, but renowned Zuni artist Cheama explored this style with great success during his lifetime. The back of the slider says “Bennet Pat Pend” and is stamped with Cheama’s mark, “Wayne C.”
The silver slider is a trapezoid in shape, measuring 1 ½ inches long and 1 ¼ inches at the top, narrowing to 1 inch at the bottom. The slider is a Bennet style which makes adjustment easy. The woven leather bolo cord is black and the ends are finished with sterling silver Hogan style bolo tips with corrugated saucer ends. The bolo cord measures 19 inches from the center back to the 2 ¼ inch silver tips, or 38 inches total. The slider does not have a silver stamp but has been tested positive for sterling. The slider is in excellent vintage condition with a few light scratches and some tool marks on the back. The cord and the tips are in excellent condition. There is patina on the tips and the slider which I can shine up for you if you would like.
The rattlesnake is a powerful symbol in all cultures, often representing evil. However, many Native American stories about the rattlesnake focus their powers to adapt as well as death and rebirth, represented by the shedding of their skins. Bolo ties are also known as bola ties or string ties and were traditionally worn as western wear. Recently, however, they have gained popularity as an accessory for both men and women. This bolo tie joins ancient symbols with Cheama’s distinctive design.
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