Wonderful early Zuni pin measures 2-1/4" by 2" and weighs 16 grams.
This brilliant Native American handmade stone-on-stone White Clam shell, Natural turquoise, jet, Spiny Oyster mosaic and Sterling silver inlay pin brooch was created by Zuni Pueblo master jewelers from family of Frank Vacit in the 1950's. A Zuni master lapidary (stone worker) painstakingly cut, shaped and polished at least THIRTY-ONE individual pieces of white shell, jet, turquoise, and spiny oyster to evoke the image of Hopi Bird (also known as a Peyote Bird. Zuni cultural norms forbid the depiction of the important figures in their pantheon.) Imagine the concentration of time and effort taken by the artist as they 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 pieces that help to form the tail feathers. WOW! HOW DID THEY DO IT? It is beyond my comprehension! Next a master silver smith (most probably a Navajo Dine' artist) set the mosaic on silver. Flattened silver drops and twisted wire and silver repose' embellish this wonderful piece. Make this stunning pin brooch a part of your collection of fine Native American jewelry.