Zuni Inlay Earrings Turquoise Sterling Silver Dexter Cellicion

More Views

  • Zuni Inlay Earrings Turquoise Sterling Silver Dexter Cellicion

1950’s Zuni Inlay Earrings Turquoise Jet Shell Sterling Silver Dexter Cellicion

  • Tribe: Zuni
  • Condition: Excellent vintage condition. No damage.
  • Size: 2-1/2" x 7/8"
  • Artisan: Dexter Cellicion
  • Materials: Jet, Turquoise, Spiny Oyster, White Clam Shell, Sterling Silver
  • Item Weight: 14 Grams Total Combined Weight
  • Hallmark: Unmarked as is typical for pieces of this vintage.


These fabulous Native American handmade jet, turquoise, clam shell, spiny oyster, and Sterling silver earrings were created by Zuni Pueblo artist, Dexter Cellicion. Cellicion, a master lapidary (stone worker), painstakingly cut, shaped and polished at least FIFTY-EIGHT individual pieces of white shell, jet, turquoise, and spiny oyster to evoke the image of a Knife Wing God (a semi-divine character from the Zuni pantheon, cultural norms forbid the depiction of their most important religious figures.) Imagine the concentration of time and effort taken by Cellicion as he ground down these pieces attached to the end of a stick on a fast spinning wheel. The individual tesserae form a mosaic showing the great skill of this artist. Of note are the long thin shell and jet pieces that form a sash and the two stepped pieces that form the hat. WOW! HOW DID THEY DO IT? It is beyond my comprehension! He then put on his silver smith hat and cut out the shape of the knifewing's silhouette. Strips of silver were cut to fit the outline of the silhouette and soldered to the edge. Channels were then cut and soldered to the background. These strips extend a little higher than the surface of the tesserae is expected to be, so they can be ground down flush with the surface of the tesserae. The tesserae are then fit into place. The surface is ground smooth on a cutting wheel, then sanded and the both earrings are polished. Flattened twisted wire and silver drops further embellish the image. A loop of silver wire attaches to a ring attached to a silver disc with silver posts. Make these fantastic earrings a great part of your fine collection of Native American jewelry. DEXTER CELLICION (Zuni Pueblo; 1931-1999) Known for his use of Kachina Designs rendered in stone-on-stone and channel set inlay. He was the brother of Oliver and Roger Cellicion.