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A beautiful copper and Bisbee turquoise insect

sculpture by Greg Lewis, Laguna Pueblo, NM

Here is something you won’t see every day, but don’t call the exterminator just yet. This beautiful fabricated copper and turquoise sculpture was inspired by talented Pueblo silversmith, Greg Lewis’ love for great turquoise stones and he was motivated by these two beautiful pieces of rare Bisbee “Lavender Pit” turquoise to make this wonderful piece. Insects are an important part of Pueblo and Navajo mythology and cosmology and figure significantly in many legends and rituals. Greg chose to create the insect’s body out of copper since copper and turquoise are naturally occurring companions.

A great deal of turquoise is found in copper mines and particularly Bisbee, Arizona turquoise which was a beautiful and very tiny by-product of the Phelps Dodge Company’s gigantic “Copper Queen” Mine in Bisbee. These stones are quite rare and beautiful and the copper miners used to sneak them out of the mine in their lunch pails. The “Lavender Pit” turquoise section of the Copper Queen Mine has been closed for many years now and the gorgeous turquoise originally found there is becoming increasingly sought-after and valuable. The two stones used here in this sculpture are textbook perfect examples of their type with a deep saturated blue color accentuated throughout with swirling clouds of “smokey” lavender purple matrix.

Greg Lewis set these two marvelous stones in old-style “foldover” type bezels to form the “body” of the insect. He further decorated the body with finally applied stamp work designs all around. The six “legs”

of the figure are composed of finely hand-formed copper wire which is also accentuated with decorative stampwork. Like all of Greg’s fine metalwork and jewelry, the traditional craftsmanship and technical excellence shown here are quite remarkable. The sculpture measures 3 1/2” in width and is about 2” in height. It weighs 36 grams or 1 1/4 ounces. It is properly signed with Greg Lewis’ arrowhead hallmark on the bottom.

This is a unique and very striking piece for anyone who appreciates fine turquoise and the unique imagination of an inspired Southwestern silversmith. Another interesting thought to consider is that this piece could be very easily made into and worn as a pendant and/or pin, if desired.

Price $575

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