Vintage Native American Zuni Pin Turquoise Shell Sterling Silver Inlay Knifewing


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This top quality vintage Native American handmade stone-on-stone mosaic and Sterling silver Knifewing pin was created by a Zuni master lapidary and silversmith. This Zuni lapidary (stone worker) painstakingly cut, shaped and polished, at least, THIRTY-SEVEN individual pieces of white shell, jet, turquoise, and spiney oyster to evoke the image of the semi-divine Knifewing. Imagine the concentration of time and effort taken by the artist as they ground down these tiny pieces while attached to the end of a stick on a fast spinning stone. The individual tesera form a mosaic showing the great skill of this artist. Of particular note are the fabulous five piece hat and long thin pieces that help to form the torso and tail feathers. HOW DID THEY DO IT? It is beyond my comprehension! Then one takes note of the silver work, including spiral wire, stamped silver drops, and the use of a chisel to evoke the idea of individual feathers. WOW! If you appreciate truly great Zuni work of the C. G. Wallace era, then this is the pin for you. And, if you appreciate beautiful objects of handmade art, then you are doubly sure to love this piece!