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A beautiful, vintage Navajo “Revival” style

silver cuff bracelet circa1940’s-50’s

This beautifully-crafted piece is made in the elegant traditionally-based Navajo “Revival” style pioneered by the renowned silversmith, jewelry instructor  and Co-Founder of the Navajo Guild, Ambrose Roanhorse (1904-1982). Roanhorse and Chester Yellowhair co-founded the Navajo Arts and Crafts Guild (NACG) in 1941, and, in teaching their jewelry students, they emphasized clean lines, open space, and restrained use of decoration and limited use of set stones in the creation of Navajo jewelry and advocated the importance of using completely traditional Navajo silversmithing techniques to achieve these goals. This bracelet is precisely the type of aesthetic and technical result they were looking for and even though it is not signed with The Navajo Guild’s famous “Horned Sun” hallmark, it might as well be since it is so evocative of the Guild’s design sensibility and high standard of quality. For more information about The Navajo Arts and Crafts Guild, please click here.

The craftsmanship displayed here is nothing short of remarkable; three rows of parallel very finely applied chisel work border each side of the bracelet. The center panel is sparingly decorated with two rows of 11 perfectly-executed crescent-shaped stamps facing each other which forms a beautiful series of 11 lozenge-shaped raised open ovals running down the bracelet’s center. The bracelet’s profile is slightly raised or domed in the center giving the shank a most pleasing contour. We are not certain if it is actually hollow-formed or not, but if so it makes the technical achievement that much more noteworthy. The overall visual effect here is of a cool, clean Modernism done in a traditional way, the kind of compelling combination which completely characterizes the best of the “Revival” style.

The bracelet’s shank varies very slightly in width from 1 7/16” to 1 1/2". The inner circumference end-to-end is

5 3/8” and the gap between the terminals is 1 1/16” for a total interior circumference of 6 7/16”. The bracelet

is a sizable 3/16” in thickness  and it weighs a substantial, yet comfortable 102 grams or 3 5/8 ounces. The bracelet is in excellent original condition overall; it shows the proper amount of age-appropriate wear in the form of small nicks, scuffs and scratches which all add up to a fine, soft patina. And If you look closely, you

can see that the shape of the bracelet’s shank is just very slightly askew, almost certainly the result of someone trying to re-size the bracelet slightly at some point over its 60-70 year lifetime which is a commonly found occurrence in historic pieces and is basically inconsequential.

This bracelet is a wonderful, historic piece which makes an elegant and timeless statement.

Price $1,050

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