Paula says - "In my opinion, this overlay pendant shows all the design characteristics and workmanship of being Navajo made. But because there is no hallmark that we can attribute to a specific artist we can't legally sell it as Native American made - read more.
The jewelry and artifacts in this collection were gathered by a man born in 1933 and who has been collecting for over 60 years. He has a great love of Native American people, their culture and customs and their art. Living and working most of his life in Texas, he has been particularly drawn to Lakota, Comanche, Apache, Pueblo, Navajo and Zuni pieces. We will be listing items from his collection over the next year, so keep an eye on the Newly Listed Items page.
What is Overlay?
With silver overlay, there are two layers of silver - the top layer is a scene, figures, or symbols meticulously cut out and then placed over a solid silver bottom layer.
The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is traditionally darkened (oxidized) for contrast. Navajo silversmiths typically leave the background smooth while Hopi usually etch the background with hashmarks.
The two layers are then sweated together - the silver is heated until the two layers meld.
The result is a 3-D picture with great depth and interest.
Bear is considered the most powerful of all of the animals and is one of the most popular subjects of fetish carvers. Bear is a spiritual guide and represents strength and self-knowledge. He has supernatural powers, great healing powers. Bear is a symbol deliberate action, introspection, soul and insight for the past and the future. The Bear is the guardian of the West an is one of the animals of the Six Directions.
Bears are the main figure in the Mountain Way, an important Navajo ceremony. Bear claws are a traditional adornment to pendants and bracelets.
(Note: Almost all natural bear claws have a slight imperfection - many of them have a rub mark, a scratch, a crack or even a piece missing. Like the lines in people's fingernails, these imperfections are just part of the claw. In fact, that is one way you can tell that the bear claw is authentic and not man-made.)
NOTE: Items in our Vintage Shop are either USED or NEW. They might come from inheritances, estate sales, private collections, and store liquidations. Many items are brand new (NOS, New Old Stock) and in perfect condition while others may show tarnish, scratches and other signs of use. Major issues will be described in detail and shown in photos. Vintage Shop items are sold as described and are not returnable.
Why isn't this item called Native American?
The US Department of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and its recent Amendments require that items described as Native American or Indian be made by an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Furthermore, government regulations suggest that all attributions include the Native American Indian's name, tribe and federal tribal enrollment number. Because it is impossible to identify the artist for many vintage items, even if they are authentic Indian made items, we cannot and will not use the words Native American or Indian in association with such pieces.
Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
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|A dark or colored film of oxidation that forms naturally on metal exposure to air and other elements. It is often valued for its aesthetically pleasing appearance.|
|30 years or older.|
|New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.|
|An item that has been used.|