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Vintage NOS Bell Trading Company
NOS Bell Trading Post
Paula says - "This bracelet is made using bas-relief, a sculptural technique where the subject is raised above the background.
"This piece is NOS (new old stock) that was made in the 1970s but never used - it is brand new vintage!"
Eagle Dance is in the center panel with a Knifewing in each side panel.
Who is Knifewing?
Knifewing, also Knife Wing, is a half man - half eagle Zuni spirit or god with razor sharp feathers made of flint. He is the ultimate warrior.
Anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing, who lived with the Zunis from 1879-1884 described knifewing this way:
"This curious god is the hero of hundreds of folklore tales, the tutelary deity of several societies of Zuni. He is represented as possessing a human form, furnished with flint knife-feathered pinions, and tail. His dress consists of the conventional terraced cap (representative of his dwelling place among the clouds). His weapons are the Great Flint-Knife of War, the Bow of the Skies (the Rainbow), and the Arrow of Lightning. His guardians or warriors are the Great Mountain Lion of the North and that of the upper regions. He was doubtless the original War God of the Zunis."
Horace Iule (also known for his crosses) is credited with creating the first knifewing design in the late 1920s, cut and filed out of wrought silver. Afterwards, other Zuni, Navajo and Pueblo began producing knifewing designs. The knifewing became one of the first designs that the Zuni inlaid with stones.
About Copper - Copper is a pure elemental metal, CU on the periodic table. It is reddish brown and is soft enough so that it is malleable which means you can shape and bend it fairly easily. Copper oxidizes and darkens when it comes in contact with the air in the environment. There are many who swear by the health benefits of wearing copper (copper bracelet manufacturers) while others have the opposite viewpoint. Read more about copper . . .
The Bell Trading Company was founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1935 by Jack Michelson amd his wife Mildred. They sold Native American Indian jewelry at various tourist locations in the southwestern United States until the late 1980s. Their main competitor was Maisel's Indian Trading Post. The Bell company got its name from Jack's wife, whose maiden name was Bell. In 1972 the company name was changed to Sunbell Corp. and items including giftware and moccasins were added to the jewelry inventory. The types of jewelry sold by Bell Trading included sterling silver, nickel silver, gold, and copper. Over the years numerous hallmarks were used on items sold by Bell Trading. The hallmarks typically included the image of a bell or that of an arrow sign post with a bell sign hanging from it. Shown here a just a few of Bell Trading Company's hallmarks.
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