- Tribe: Navajo and Zuni
- Condition: Excellent vintage condition with wear appropriate for its age. No damage to inlay and silver. Slightly out of round.
- Size: 1-3/8" wide 5-1/2" inside circumference end to end plus 1" opening
- Artisan: Austin Wilson and John Gordon Leak
- Materials: white shell, jet, turquoise, spiny oyster, and Sterling silver
- Item Weight: 49 Grams / over 1-3/4 Ounces
- Hallmark: Image of a bow
The Legendary Zuni lapidary (stone cutter) John Gordon Leak and Famed Navajo silversmith Austin Wilson collaborated to create this historic and stunning Native American handmade bracelet. It has long been speculated that Zuni and Navajo artists collaborated during the 1930's -1950's on a number of pieces. This bracelet offers ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROOF of this historic relationship. Leak painstakingly cut, shaped and polished at least SEVENTEEN individual pieces of white shell, jet, turquoise, and spiny oyster to evoke the image of the semi-divine Knife Wing. (Zuni cultural norms forbid the depiction of the most important figures in their religion.) Imagine the concentration of time and effort taken by the artist as they ground down these tiny pieces attached to the end of a stick on a fast spinning stone. The individual tesserae form a mosaic showing the great skill of this artist. Of particular note is the fabulous hat and the background of jet, which is Leak's signature design. HOW DID HE DO IT? It is beyond my comprehension. Wilson then set this fantastic design onto a heavy chisel split shank decorated with deep and precise hand stamp work. He then added two tabs embellished with repousse, one on each flank of the inlay. Thick twisted wire completes the frame for Leak's work. Close inspection reveals the incomparable craftsmanship of Wilson. Is that the face of an owl looking at us from the bracelet's shank? WOW! YOU WILL MOST PROBABLY NEVER GET ANOTHER CHANCE TO OWN A PIECE OF THIS QUALITY AND HISTORIC CHARACTER! DO NOT MISS OUT!