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A vintage Navajo silver and desert ironwood bolo inlaid

with a turquoise “S” design by Kenneth Begay, c.1950’s

A terrific-looking and very striking bolo with the letter “S” or a snake design in a series of nine round turquoise dots inlaid into a background of beautifully-grained deep brownish-red Southwest desert ironwood set in a finely serrated silver bezel. The craftsmanship on display here is superb overall as one would expect from the legendary Navajo silversmith, Kenneth Begay (1913-1977) and the design is clean-lined, spare and elegant in keeping with his strong Modernist design sensibility. Not for nothing is Begay well known as being “The Father of Modern Navajo silver.”

The interplay between the rich colors and textures of the various materials used here is remarkable; the highly polished bright silver metal, the intensely dark wood and the nine individual bright blue inlaid turquoise stone circles all combine together to a dazzling overall visual effect, a literal feast for the eyes.

"I like to create something new and

still use the old Navajo design style.”

-Kenneth Begay

The bolo likely dates from the 1950's and it measures 1 3/4” in height, 1 3/4” in maximum width and 3/8” in depth.

The bolo’s very finely fabricated silver tips are 1 1/2” length. The bolo weighs a very comfortable 41.5 grams or 1.47 ounces. The bolo is properly signed “KB” and is also stamped “Sterling” and “Handmade” on the back of the slide and hallmarked with the domed hogan insignia of The White Hogan Shop, Scottsdale, Arizona where Kenneth Begay was a partner and chief silversmith for many years. The bolo’s slide, its nicely-woven dark brown leather cord and silver tips are all in excellent original condition.

This bolo would be the perfect gift for anyone, male or female with a “S” initial in their first name, middle or last.

For everyone else, it’s an abstract snake figure and also just as perfect.

Price $3,150

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Kenneth Begay, c. 1970