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A large contemporary copper, silver and turquoise

treasure box by Greg Lewis, Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico

The talented Greg Lewis, a third-generation Laguna Pueblo silversmith, is a traditional Native silversmith in the great old style whose work exhibits a level of quality and craftsmanship you will seldom find on modern pieces.

He learned his craft from his Grandfather, renowned Acoma Pueblo silversmith, Alvin Concho Lewis, and he makes his silver in exactly the same way it was done at the turn of the last century using coin-silver, cast ingots, handmade tools, handmade stamps and restrained and classic designs. Unlike most modern day smiths Greg also works extensively in copper which Navajo and Pueblo silversmiths used in the 19th and early 20th century before the widespread availability of silver. If you didn’t know better, you would swear that many of Greg’s pieces were made over 100 years ago. It’s so completely “old-style” that it’s really difficult to believe it isn't really old.

This extravagantly detailed copper, silver and turquoise treasure or keepsake box is a wonderful example of Greg’s craftsmanship and attention to detail; it is carefully crafted in very heavy copper, profusely stamped and repousseed with applied silver accents and set with a very large, hand-carved turquoise stone. The amount of meticulous hand-crafting lavished upon this piece is simply amazing, from the detailed stamp and repoussee work

on the copper top and sides panels to the tiniest details of stampwork all the way around the copper bezel which holds the turquoise stone, to the scalloped and stamped silver “feet” of the box to the finely hand-hammered applied silver arrowheads on the top to the heavy handmade copper hinges fastened with stamped silver balls.

Greg Lewis’ personal hallmark is an arrowhead design and that is clearly the design theme of the box with the large carved turquoise stone being carved in a arrowhead shape and the two silver arrowheads pointing toward it. When you open up the box, you can see Greg’s stamped arrowhead hallmark in the very center of the bottom panel directly under the center of the arrow-shaped turquoise stone.

The box measures 4 1/4” by 4 1/4” and it sits just under 2” in height including the silver feet. The box section

itself is 1 1/4” in depth. And Greg certainly didn’t skimp on the materials here; the box weighs a very substantial 418 grams or 14 3/4 ounces, just under one pound. The box is in new original condition. As with all copper pieces, this box can either be kept highly polished or left to naturally oxidize.

This exceptional treasure box was not only made to hold treasured items, it is itself a treasure;

a modern-era exuberant expression of old-style traditional craftsmanship.

Price $1,150

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