#J-1. Navajo "squash blossom" necklace, ca. 1950, 24" long, turquoise and silver. Fine patina, handmade "squashes" and naja. The "squash blossom" is actually derived from a pomegranate flower, and the naja from the good luck hand amulet form, both probably introduced to the Navajo by the Spanish. This design is a good example of the cultural migration of an image, in this case from the ancient Near East, where the pomegranate was a symbol of fertility and abundance (a clay pomegranate flower was found recently at Second Temple excavations in Jerusalem). The hand as a symbol of good luck is also an ancient Near Eastern (as well as universal) image, and probably traveled via the Jews to the Muslims (as the hand of Fatima, daughter of Muhammad), via the Moors to Spain and the Americas. NFS.
This thumb-size ivory pomegranate in the Israel Museum has been recently dated to the Bronze Age, around 3,400 years ago (1000 BCE). The inscription on it, purporting to be from Solomon's Temple, is a forgery. But the pomegranate is authentic, and predates the First Temple, built by King Solomon in the sixth century BCE. Like the clay pomegranate from the Second Temple, this enduring symbol of fertility shares its meaning with the squash blossom. (AP Photo/HO/Israel Museum) .

Contemporary Navajo inlay necklace of a buffalo, turquoise, lapis, jet, coral, and sterling silver, 24" long, signed "V". (The scan makes the silver on the feathers and elsewhere look multicolored--it isn't, just fine sterling silver.) SOLD.


Dine' (Navajo) Basket Pendant and Earrings by Ben Gorman. Sterling silver and copper overlay of Dine' ceremonial basket design shown here with small turquoise stone. Turquouse sold, but set with a dark blue lapis stone is in stock. One inch in diameter. Pendant includes elegant 22-inch sterling silver chain. SOLD.



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