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A beautiful Navajo silver pin in the shape of a

Pueblo pottery jar by Kenneth Begay, c.1950’s

Did you ever know that the great Navajo jeweler made pottery? Clearly, as this fine silver pottery pin shows, he did. As with everything Kenneth Begay (1910-1977) did, he made this lovely pin that much better than it ever had to be. Instead of shaping just a single piece of flat silver to form the shape of the pottery jar he actually used two completely separate pieces of silver, doming out the front one to bulge outwards in a rounded-out shape giving the distinct appearance of three-dimensionality that a real pottery jar actually has. Doing this, especially on a piece as diminutive as this one, is an exceedingly complicated and painstaking process; matching the size and shape of the two small silver pieces perfectly, the domed piece and the flat piece, then fitting the two pieces together perfectly, then soldering them together perfectly and finally finishing them perfectly. It’s all very difficult to do, but Kenneth Begay made it all look easy.

A historic Cochiti Pueblo pottery canteen

with a floral design, c. 1920

The delicately stamped and chiseled design on the front of the jar is a beautiful, large stylized flower reminiscent of the floral designs on certain historic 19th and 20th century pottery jars and canteens from the Santo Domingo and Cochiti Pueblos in New Mexico. The pin measures 1 1/4” in height and it is 1 1/4” in width and approximately 1/4” in depth. It weighs 9 grams or 3/8 of an ounce.

The pin is in excellent original condition and it is properly signed on the back with Kenneth Begay’s customary “KB” inside a serrated square hallmark and the domed Navajo hogan insignia of Scottsdale’s White hogan shop. For two-plus decades under the leadership of Kenneth Begay, the all-star team of Navajo silversmiths Begay and his partner Jon C. Bonnell assembled at The white Hogan shop produced some of the finest Navajo silverwork ever done. This small piece shows the level of inspired design and meticulous hand craftsmanship they put into everything they did. It’s a beautiful little jewel, a perfect piece for a Southwestern pottery collector or anyone who appreciates Southwestern art and history.

Price $725

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A historic Santo Domingo Pueblo pottery storage jar

with floral designs, c. 1880