Sold Navajo Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Set - P. Johnson - Native American
Stunning authentic Native American Navajo oxidized sterling silver squash blossom necklace and earrings set (post backs). Featuring Sleeping Beauty turquoise and 10 side blossoms on strands of Navajo pearls. Handcrafted by Navajo silversmith, P. Johnson.
Total Necklace Length: 25"
Center Piece/ Naja: 2 3/4" X 2 3/4"
Side Pieces/ Blossoms: 1/2" X 2"
Earrings: 1 1/8" X 1/2"
Squash Blossom History
The origins of this uniquely southwestern style are as fascinating and diverse as the southwest itself, and can be attributed to the intermingling of cultures in the area during the 1860s and 1870s. Navajo artisans learned silversmithing from Hispanic artists in New Mexico, as well as Plains Indians craftsmen. The creativity and innovation of those early Navajo silversmiths soon lent itself to many forms and styles of jewelry - one of which was the squash blossom necklace.
Originally, artists melted down Mexican pesos, US dollars, and any other type of silver they could find to create their works of art. By the 1890s, turquoise was a common addition to these pieces as well. As the style spread to many of the tribes in the area in the late 19th century, the Zuni craftspeople added their unique flair: the familiar turquoise inlay patterns we see today.
Although today squash blossom necklaces include much variation that is limited only by the imaginations of their designers, the pieces each follow the same basic form: an inverted crescent, or Naja, centerpiece, surrounded on each side by an average of 6 smaller flower blossom pieces.
All at once, squash blossom necklaces are an investment in fine art, a piece of American history, and a talisman full of meaning and purpose. For many Native American jewelry collectors, a southwestern wardrobe is incomplete without a squash blossom necklace. Although they are extremely beautiful, their beauty goes beyond simple aesthetics to hold something of the refined glimmer and history of the Southwest itself.
This stone is truly one of our (and our artists) favorites. It was found in Globe, Arizona, specifically at the Sleeping Beauty Mine, and is revered for sometimes lacking something that makes most other types stand out: it’s webbing or veining. The highest-quality pieces are as pure as a cloudless New Mexico Sky, and at its finest, Sleeping Beauty will make you forget how turquoise got its reputation as sort of a patchwork stone of different colors. The mine is no longer in operation and Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is more in demand than ever due to its scarcity and beautiful color.
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