An elderly friend has asked me to help her out by selling some of her jewelry that she has packed away for many years. I am not a jeweler and am describing these items to the best of my limited abilities. Please contact me if you have any questions, and I will answer as best I can. My friend bought this stunning sterling and amethyst necklace at a store (now long gone) on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas which specialized in Native American art and jewelry sometime in the 1970s or 80s. If this splendid silver and amethyst necklace reminds you of the work of Southwestern artist Carol Felley, it is because it is by Navajo silversmith Etta Endito, who worked as a production manager for Felley and designed jewelry for her. The Silver Sun Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which features the Endito’s work, has confirmed that this necklace is by Ms. Endito
The necklace consists of a fantastic flower pendant, with a deep purple amethyst in the center, suspended from a necklace of gleaming silver and rich purple amethyst beads, finished with traditional cones at the end and a hook and eye clasp. The back of the pendant is stamped with a hallmark, which looks like a crescent resting on a hill or mound, and Ms. Endito’s “EE” signature. Ms. Endito and her husband, Randy, are skilled silversmiths who for decades have created beautiful Southwestern jewelry, mixing traditional Native American and contemporary designs. Ms. Endito’s handcrafted jewelry has been featured in the United States Department of Interior’s Indian Craft Shop in Washington, DC, and her work is sought after by collectors. The pendant is approximately 2 inches wide and the necklace itself is about 22 inches long. It is in wonderful condition for its age, with only very minor surface wear. The necklace could use a good polishing (I just lightly buffed it for the pictures). The string has stretched out over the years, so the necklace may need to be restrung.
This outstanding vintage necklace is a true piece of wearable art by a well-known and respected Navajo silversmith, and would enhance any outfit, from a casual tee-shirt and blue jeans to an elegant evening dress.
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Antique Treasures from the Texas Hill Country
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