Presented here is a vintage Navajo made hair piece with a turquoise cabochon. This piece was recovered from a Nevada based auction. You won't often find hairpieces like this by the Navajo and this should be considered a rare form. It is worn by inserting a wood or silver stick diagonally across the holes of the piece and through the hair
The condition of this piece is flawless and the surface is glossy. Additionally, one side is slightly longer than the other. This is subtle and considered a good sign in these pieces. Lastly, there is the rough consistency that comes from the casting process on the reverse. Again, a good thing that indicates the bracelet is not a reproduction piece. You won't find another just like it.
Sandcasting is a method of forming silver employed by the Navajo that begins with carving the design into the indigenous sandstone (tufa). This method is difficult and items made this way often show unevenness and small flaws as telltale signs of an original handmade piece. The silver was poured molten into the stone and then the piece was shaped. Each piece is more or less one of a kind because the addition of the heat to the mold typically cracks it. Historically, the Navajo melted silver coins to create their work. There are no hallmark on this piece which is typical of sandcast work.
Dimensions: about 47.7mm (1.9") across and 40mm (1.5") top to bottom. Cabochon is 7.5mm x 11mm. Weight is 26.2 grams.
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