Scenes include a hogan done in gold overlay . . .
Paula says - "In my opinion, this vintage sterling silver overlay storyteller ring 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.
"Excellent work - extremely fine details."
a mitten butte . . .
a mesa . . .
a corral with gate.
What is Storyteller Jewelry?
Storyteller jewelry, typically bracelets, pendants and pins, are made using the sterling silver overlay method, sometimes incorporating gold in the overlay. Two layers comprise the jewelry - the top layer is a scene, figures, or symbols meticulously cut out and then placed over a solid bottom layer. The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is often textured or darkened (oxidized) for contrast. 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. Storyteller jewelry often depicts scenes from life on the reservation, including animals like sheep, dogs and horses, buildings such as hogans and outhouses, mesas, trees, looms, kivas, wagans and even pickup trucks.
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.
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.
About Native American Rings
Southwest Native American rings can be made from many materials but usually are sterling silver alone or embellished with turquoise, coral, jet, mother of pearl, petrified wood, abalone, lapis lazuli, jasper, gaspeite, malachite, spiny oyster, tiger eye, white buffalo stone, onyx, opal, bear claws and much more.
The styles of Southwest Native American rings are many and varied including bands, single stone, shadowbox, cigar band, pictorial inlay, cobblestone, corn row and mosaic inlay, storyteller, sandcast and tufa cast, cluster, petit point, needlepoint, snake eye, overlay, feather, leaf, channel inlay and others.
NavajoNavajo rings are typically a sterling silver band, often heavy and/or elaborate. The band can be silver only or have stones that are set with various types of bezels. For more information on bezels, read my article Types of Bezels. If a Navajo ring is inlaid, the inlay pieces are usually separated by silver channels.
Zuni rings are usually either stone-on-stone inlays (no silver channels in between the pieces), snake rings, snake eye, petit point or needlepoint.
Hopi rings are most often sterling silver overlays with contrasting (oxidized) and textured backgrounds.
Read more in my blog post: Southwest Native American Rings
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.
LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
|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.|