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BUTTERFLY PENDANT BY GARY CUSTER NAVAJO SAND CAST

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Description

Description

In the mid 1800s, Navajo silversmiths started to use sand casting as one of their silversmithing techniques.  Today, silversmiths still use this technique by carving a design in tufa stone (a porous limestone) and then placing another stone against it.  The two pieces are fastened together and molten silver is poured in.  Once it has cooled, the artist takes the piece out and finishes it.  Navajo artist Gary Custer made this lovely pendant in this manner.  The pendant had an open hook bale which is great to fit over all types of necklaces and chains.  Weighs 22 grams.  Signed.

1  5/8” wide x 1  5/8” long

The Navajos began working with silver in the 19th century, and began making things like buckles, bridles, buttons, rings, canteens, hollow beads, earrings, crescent-shaped pendants (called “najas”), bracelets, crosses, powder chargers, tobacco canteens, and conchos (for belts).  Their silversmithing skills has evolved and changed throughout the years, and in about 1880 Navajo silversmiths started to set turquoise in their silver work.  Traditionally, Navajo artists worked with jewelry techniques like repousee and stamp work, but today they explored in other Native American jewelry making techniques like Zuni inlay work and Hopi overlay work.

More Info

Additional information

Weight 2 lbs
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