Thursday, October 22, 2015

Researching Vintage Turquoise Jewelry

Our feature this week, was contributed by another of the Jetteam members, the very talented Denise from LoveStoneArts. Visit her shop to see the beautiful, handcrafted jewelry she creates.

 
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Ya'at eeh! Greetings  
Maybe you are lucky enough to have some pieces of vintage southwest jewelry.  There is so much information online; a few searches might help you to learn more about your treasure.  Of course, each search leads to more searches!
 
 
GENERAL INFO - Click the link to read about the History of American Indian Jewelry Making
 
 
Southwest style turquoise jewelry was a popular fashion trend when I was a teen and all my life I have appreciated Native American art and culture.  The gorgeous jewelry of the Southwest is one of my passions and an influence in some of the designs I coax from silver and flame.  I love the wonderful nugget my grandma Gracie bought from the Dine’ people in Yuma Arizona when we passed through on the train in 1954; in fact I’m wearing it right now.  I think my magic blue rock has been with me the longest of any of my possessions.
 
My parents have a 5 part set of silver and turquoise jewelry that was commissioned by my great-uncle in about 1960.  Their recollection is that the artist was known to my uncle as “Charlie” and that some bail bond money was required to help their friend complete the order.  Sometimes these stories passed down through the family get tweaked a bit with the passage of time, so who knows?
The set consists of a very large man’s bolo tie with a huge freeform piece of Morenci Mines turquoise, a ring, cuff bracelet, pendant and earrings also of Morenci turquoise and traditional silver work.

 
 
They all have the typical Morenci intense color and interesting pyrite inclusions.
 
 
ABOUT THE MINES - Read about the Turquoise Museum by clicking on the link to the left.
 
The hallmark is a capital C and sunrays symbol.  There are plenty of good Native American hallmark sites.  HALLMARK SITE 

 

 
It turns out that perhaps the artist went by Charlie but his name is actually Carl Allen Begay, also known as Carlos Begay.  I think my folks got the story mixed up a little.  Sometimes a search will turn up a bio of the artist but I had no luck in this instance.  Begay is the most common Navajo surname and there are lots and lots of Carl-s and Carlos-es.  He must have been a popular and prolific artist because a general search of his name turns up quite a bit of his work including these stunning examples~
 
 

 
I’ve enjoyed researching and sharing with you a few things about the intriguing blue jewelry of the American Southwest.  
Ahéhee'  Thank you!
 
 
Denise
 

14 comments :

Urban Pearl Studio said...

WOWOWOW! Thank you for sharing your story and drop dead gorgeous collection of art jewelry! I've just inherited a set and trying to find more info - you gain so much knowledge of the fabulous artist in your searches.

Thank you again - lovely post!

Lisa LeFrenchGem said...

Cute Story and Amazing Pieces! Thanks for sharing ;)

jemsbyjb said...

Beautiful insight into the southwestern jewelry. Love the amazing jewelry that you have shared.

SatinDollCo said...

Great story! Those piece are gorgeous!

Mollie Ann said...

Oh, how I do love turquoise! Thanks Denise, for sharing your lovely set and your "Charlie" story too. Off to follow those links ...

Jean Sandell said...

Very cool!!!!

Beadsme said...

Awesome. Love researching - if I had the chance.

Brooke said...

Love turquoise and this is a really neat collection, thanks Denise!

capitalcitycrafts said...

So interesting! Thanks for sharing!

SendingLoveGallery said...

so interesting, and such beautiful examples of fine turquoise and Navajo silversmithing. I will be on the look-out for that beautiful Morenci turquoise. Thank you, Denise!

Keystring said...

Beautiful! Love hearing about this! Thank you for posting!

Gemstones on My Mind said...

Denise, what a gorgeous set, and the story behind it is fascinating. I have to say, you are the perfect person on this earth to wear these pieces.. They are you! Lucky woman! (I also loved all the great info you have given us!)

Gloria Flynn - EarthEnergyGemstones said...

Wow is right! These are gorgeous pieces! I grew up in Arizona and remember seeing so many Turquoise pieces everywhere. Wish I had had the foresight to have collected some of it. Great story, Denise!

Michele said...

Lovely jewelry, interesting read, thanks for sharing!!!!