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Mary Becenti, Navajo
Sterling Silver and Cerrillos Turquoise
Vintage Squash Blossom Necklace,
Bracelet, Ring and Earrings Set

HK Item #S507

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Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti
condition
vintage, pre-owned, excellent; bright patina; stones firmly set in smooth bezels with no cracks or chips; no dented beads
necklace
24" end to end;
naja 3" x 3" with 1" drop;
12 blossoms 1 3/8" long;
7.5 mm bench beads strung on foxtail
bracelet
6 1/2" total inside circumference (including 1 1/4" gap between ends) and approximate wrist size. See diagram below;
1 1/8" tall at front, 1/4" at ends
ring
size 6 1/4;
1 1/4" tall at the front
earrings
1 1/2" long including the post ball
materials
Cerrillos Turquoise, Read about stones
sterling silver, Read about silver
weight
entire set is 238 grams
hallmarks
inscribed on all four pieces:
conjoined MB
artist
Mary Becenti, Navajo
[mother of the late Julian Nez from Shiprock, New Mexico]

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Naja is 3" x 3" with a 1" center drop.

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Post dangle earrings are 1 1/2" long including the post ball.

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Ring size 6 1/4 and is 1 1/4" tall.
CAN I HAVE A RING RESIZED?

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

7.5 mm sterling silver bench beads strung on foxtail with hook and loop clasp.

See Necklace Extenders

Questions or more details.

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Jewelry

Mary Becenti, Navajo
Sterling Silver and Cerrillos Turquoise
Vintage Squash Blossom Necklace,
Bracelet, Ring and Earrings Set

HK-S506 - (ONLY ONE SET AVAILABLE)

$2,250      View your  Horsekeeping Videos and Books shopping cart.

Paula says - "This rare set came to us with some written provenance. The sticker on the back of the necklace states the mine and weight of these unique stones: CERRILLOS APPROX 140 CT (see photo)".

"A letter with the item from the original owner states, 'The set came from Robert White and Mr. Montoya at Sunwest Silver Co. in Albuquerque. The MB in a stylized form (which is Mary Becenti's hallmark). We purchased these items in the early to mid 1970's.' "

"Robert White, whom is referred to, is now deceased but Ernie Montoya is still the owner of Sunwest Silver in Albuquerque. N.M.".

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

The color of Cerrillos turquoise is often referred to as olive green and chocolate.

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

12 squash blossoms 1 3/8" long. All stones set in smooth bezels.

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Bracelet is 1 1/8" tall at front, 1/4" at ends

Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Bracelet size 6 1/2" inside circumference including 1 1/4" gap.

CAN I HAVE A BRACELET RESIZED?

Bracelet measurements

How to Choose and Fit a Cuff Bracelet  

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Vintage Cerillos Turquoise Necklace, Bracelet, Earring and Ring Set by Navajo artist Mary Becenti

Squash blossom necklace strung on foxtail is 24" end to end.

Squash Blossom Symbolism

Corn, squash and beans are the traditional mainstays of the southwestern diet, culture and symbolism and are used in many ways in art and ceremony. The squash blossom represents abundant life.

What is a squash blossom necklace?

"Some say the Navajo squash blossom necklace has a connection to southwestern agriculture, other say the the spread petal design is just that, a design, and that is was only after white man asked, “what is this, what does it mean” did the name squash blossom come to be. Yet others say the Navajo copied a similar Spanish design of the pomegranate – look at the end of a pomegranate sometime and compare it to the “squash blossom” bead.

"The Navajo word for the “squash blossom” bead means “bead that spreads out” so it would seem to me that the original intent was design, not squash. But what do I know, I wasn’t around in 1880 when spread beads first appeared.

"Whichever is the true account, it seems that originally Navajo silversmiths used simple silver bead necklaces to suspend their naja pendants. In about 1880, the tri-petal form that we know as a squash blossom bead appeared.

"At first, tri-petal silver beads were simply interspersed with plain beads in a naja necklace. Then stones began to be added to the blossom beads partly to please the maker but mostly to satisfy customer demand.

"While usually associated with Navajo silversmiths, squash blossom necklaces are also made and worn by Pueblo and Zuni people. Zuni necklaces usually feature needlepoint designs. Although there can be any number of squash blossoms on each side of a necklace, there are often six on each side, making twelve squash blossoms and one central naja.

"Full size squash blossom necklaces are often quite large and heavy and most suitable for occasional ceremonial wear. Smaller, lighter versions are made to be worn as everyday jewelry." - Paula

What is a Naja?

The horseshoe shaped naja originated with the Moors in Spain. It is a good luck charm to ward off the evil eye. It was often used on the browband of Moorish Horses. It is thought that it came to Mexico via the Spanish Moors and from there was adopted by the Navajo Indians. The naja is the base pendant of many ornate squash blossom necklaces: read more . . .

What is Foxtail?

Foxtail chain is a fine, strong chain made with two rows of oval links arranged at 45° to one another and connected by small flat links running down the chain’s centre. This creates a braided or woven effect with a directional grain and a fullness which gives the appearance of the hairs on a fox’s tail. Foxtail withstands the constant friction of beads moving around without fraying, breaking or stretching out of shape and is often used for stringing large or heavy beads that could cut or damage cord or string.

ABOUT CERRILLOS TURQUOISE

The Cerrillos Hills Mining District, just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, encompasses many mines, the two largest being Mount Chalchihuitl and Turquoise Hill. Mount Chalchihuitl was mined for turquoise by Native Americans as early as 900 A.D. and is the site of the largest single deposit of turquoise ever found in North America. Cerrillos turquoise varies in color from sky blue to blue greens to pure green. Stones often contain streaks of limonite and bright specks of pyrite.

Our Rescue Mission
of
Native American Indian Jewerly and Artifacts

Native American Jewelry blog tips and informationWe are in the vintage Native American jewelry rescue business and are passionate about finding new homes for used and vintage jewelry and artifacts. That's why we purchase Native American pieces from estates, inheritances, collection downsizing and New Old Stock () inventory from closed stores.

Often people contact us after taking a box of Native American jewelry to their local pawn shop and find that a pawn shop is mainly interested in melt value of the metals and not in preserving the beautiful historic pieces. To hear that people have considered selling these treasures for melt value makes us truly sad.

Melt value is usually far below what we would offer for the jewelry. Yet we can't pay retail price for items because of the time and cost involved in finding new homes for them. We have to research, often repair and restore the jewelry, photograph and list each item on our website, and sometimes hold pieces in inventory for years until the right buyer comes along.

We hope you'll find something special in our vintage shop that will complete yet another circle of our jewelry re-homing mission.

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.

Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
©  2015 Horsekeeping LLC    © Copyright Information

Patina
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.
Vintage
30 years or older.
NOS
New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.
Pre-owned
An item that has been used.

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