Little info in Canada on Hopi hallmarks – can you help?

June 26. 2014

Hi Paula.  I hope you can help me.  I have spent hours and hours and hours trying to identify some Hopi jewellery that i bought in the 70’s. I live in Canada, and there is little help up here  identifying  South West Jewellery.  I have two silver overlay Hopi  pins, both with the same ‘signature’ on the back.  The signature is sort of like a ‘W’ .  I have searched available sites on line that list signatures, but have not found anything.  I also tried searching the images of pieces that seemed similar, and I came up with a definite similarity to a pin/pendant by Victor Coochwytewa (I should be so lucky!)

Could your recommend someone who might be able to help me with signed pottery?  I have small items by Marie G. Romero from Jemez, Gloria Gachupin from the Zia Pueblo, and a beautiful pot by Rondina Huma, Tewa.
Thank you for any help.
elain genser

Hopi kachina hallmark Hopi kachina pin (2) hopi kachina pin Hopi RoadRunner Roadrunner markHi Elain,

Thank you for your patience. As you can see, due to the volume of questions we receive, it takes about a month for a question to work its way to the top of the queue.

I know nothing about pottery, so perhaps another reader might reply to that.

Elain, you also sent photos of a bracelet. If you want to resubmit that as a separate question like you did with this pin question, I’ll put it in the queue.

Now to the hallmark on these wonderful collectible Hopi pins.

The W hallmark is actually that of a lightning bolt with two arrowheads, one on each end. There is a bit of patina there occluding the hallmark. That hallmark is of McBride Lomayestewa, a Hopi artist of the Snow Clan from the village of Shungopavi who was born in 1932.  He began work in 1956 and died in 2002.

He learned his craft at the Hopi Guild. He is brother of Mark and Clarence.

Now that you know the artist’s name you can do a search and learn more about him and see other examples of his work.

Enjoy your treasures !

Paula

To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here

http://www.horsekeeping.com/native-american-jewelry-artifacts.htm

If you are selling your jewelry, read this

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htm

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htmN229-disc-2712-hopi-3

Hopi Belt Buckle Hallmark Help Please

Hello Paula..
First thanks for your site..Very nice..
I have a Hopi belt buckle I purchased around 1986  at a gallery / art center on 2nd Mesa….I believe  the hallmark is an R &  A  combined , where the bottom of the R has a horozontial line to look like an A ..Any idea who that might be.?
Thank you , Elaine
buckle hopi 004buckle.2smHI Elaine,
What a GREAT buckle !!
According to Hopi Silver by Margaret Nickelson Wright, that hallmark is attributed to Ramon (Albert Jr.) Dalangyawma who began silver work in 1978. He learned silversmithing at Hopicrafts which was a private enterprise from 1961-1983.
Ramon (Albert Jr.) Dalangyawma has a Navajo mother and Hopi father.
Paula
To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here
If you are selling your jewelry, read this
NBU185-coyote-maze-josytewa-1

Cyrus Josytewa Hopi Sterling Silver Overlay Coyote / Wolf Maze Buckle

Unique Bracelet has Inlay on the Inside of the Cuff !!

May 20, 2014

Hi Paula, thanks for taking the time to read my email.

So I have been an admirer of southwestern jewelry since my early childhood going to flea markets and estate sales with my parents.

No that I’m older an can afford to buy some I have begun to develope a small collection of men’s bracelet and rings.

So onto my question:
While shopping at an estate sale this weekend, I came across LITERALLY the most amazing piece of SW jewelry I have ever seen. Firstly, It is HEAVY (I haven’t weighed it but the band is like a THICK and the cuff is 2 inches wide on the wrist).
Secondly there is an engraved geometric insect disign on the top side with a big polished hunk of quality (bisbee?, blue mountain? Turquoise) making up the insects abdomen section.
Now the most interesting/unique part is that when you flip the cuff over the inside of the band has an absolutely AMAZING geometric coral/onyx/turquoise/wood inlaid disign occupying the entire inside band.
 It is signed in old style script  (which has been half rub off – by taking it on and off I presume) from what it looks like, it reads B. Jexxxxx … I researched pretty extensively online and can’t find any signatures or really even jewelry examples that are seem very similar to it. I was hoping you could give me some insight, or point my research inthe right direction.
So in your opinion, this piece looks to be authentic native american? Contemporary or vintage/antique? I am a newbie to the collecting field and have limited knowledge to things of this quality. I love the piece regardless (it’s just so darn pretty).
Also, None of this information you provide will be used to sell this piece – I love it way to much to ever sell it – I bought it has a birthday present to myself, and can say with all honesty, that it makes me happier than just about anything I have ever purchased for myself.
Thanks again for taking the time to respond, and for providing a valuable resource to those of us new to collecting Native American Jewelry.
Paula, Here are the best photos i could get of the signature…. at first I thought it was a script B. Te….. much of the signature has been rubbed off over time… I spent time yesterday looking at native silver smith hallmarks and the best i could come up with was Doris Smallcanyon…. as she seems to sometimes sign her name with a big looping D. and a stylized S
Again, thanks so much for taking the time.
Hope to hear black for you,
Chad
15HI Chad,
Your beautiful and unique bracelet is the work of Bobby Tewa (Bobby Darrell, Tewanoitewa) , a San Juan Tewa/Hopi silversmith that began work in 1974. He was a silversmith for Santa Fe Associates Inc. and began using this hallmark in 1980.
He was born in 1948 and is an award winning artist of  mosaic inlay and overlay. He lives in San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico.
His items have won awards, have been exhibited in various markets and books and are in collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
He learned his craft from the San Juan jewelry program and served in the US Marine Corps.
Now that you know the artist’s name you could type in “Bobby Tewa” in google and then click images and you will see more examples of his work plus a few photos of the artist himself.
You found a treasure ! Enjoy.
Paula
To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here

If you are selling your jewelry, read this

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htm

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm

NBS325-med-kokopelli-lindsay-1

What is the significance of my Hopi bracelet?

May 8, 2014
Hi, Paula!

My name is Chelsea and I had a few questions about a Hopi overlay bracelet I got as a gift a few years ago.

I have been trying to research what the different symbols mean and exactly who the artist is. There is a capital “T” outlined next to the word sterling. The capital T is not filled.

On the bracelet, there are waves across the top with another symbol underneath lining the bracelet that I have not been able to find anywhere online.

I never take the bracelet off and it is important to me to figure out what it all means.

Thank you for your help! I hope you’re having a great day :)

Chelsea

!cid_54A921EC-5951-47A6-84CA-1F3367AA77C2 !cid_F23AD5A3-F2DE-4AC6-8D81-44CB9E0A61A2Hi Chelsea,

The thick T that is not filled in is actually an antelope rattle, the hallmark of Hopi artist Floyd Namingha Lomakuyvaya of the Strap Clan in the village of Shungopavi. He learned from Kenneth Kuwanvayouma and started producing in 1973.

I can see why you are wearing this bracelet every day – it is beautiful.

As far as the symbolism, Hopi designs can be quite stylized. The waves are pretty certainly there to represent water. As far as the bottom portion of the design, I think it is half of a badger paw but I am not sure. Perhaps others might chime in as to what the lower half of the design represents.

Paula

To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here

http://www.horsekeeping.com/native-american-jewelry-artifacts.htm

If you are selling your jewelry, read this

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htm

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm

NBS308-ABCDE-josytewa-1

What can you tell me about this Lloyd Bicenti Storyteller Belt?

Hi Paula,
I recently purchased a storyteller belt by Lloyd Bicenti.  It has 8 rectangular sections plus the buckle. I would like to know what the story is for this specific belt, but would also like to know if there is a source that one could go to about different story belts and bracelets.
Thank you,
Arthur
story belt001 story belt002 story belt003Hello Arthur,

Your beautiful belt depicts Kachinas, the eagle kachina and the antelope kachina to name just a few that are masterfully represented on the belt.

Kachinas represent the forces of nature, human, animal, plant, and act as intermediaries between the world of humans and the gods. Kachinas play an important part in the seasonal ceremonies of the Hopi, which encompass generations of passed-on knowledge and tradition, and has become the subject of a number of books. The simplified description here is meant only as an introduction.

A kachina has three aspects. The supernatural being as it exists in the minds of the Hopis; the masked impersonator of the supernatural spirit; and the dolls that are made in the likeness of the masked impersonator of the supernatural spirit.

Traditionally, kachina dolls are created by Hopi or Zuni artists. Your belt is made by a Navajo silversmith.

There are many good books written about kachinas – one of the books I show below talks about 266 different kachinas, often with subtle differences between them.  To find out which kachinas are represented on your belt, I’d suggest some online or library research.

We have a very few kachinas on our website (click on the last photo) but there are websites that devote many pages to describing them.

scan0007 scan0009Best of luck with your research and enjoy that gorgeous work of art !

Paula

To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here

http://www.horsekeeping.com/native-american-jewelry-artifacts.htm

If you are selling your jewelry, read this

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htm

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm

KD40-1-600w

What kind of plant it on this ring and is it Hopi?

Hello Paula! First I would like to say I really love your site, I come to it often for info!  I have obtained this nice ring I believe is Hopi overlay. My question is what is it? I don’t think it is corn, but is obviously a plant. I can’t find this symbol in order to identify it. Also, it is hallmarked “YZR” which does show in my photo. I’m trying to identify the maker. Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!
Thanks,
Paula

 

DSC00415 DSC00417Hi Paula,

From the photo you sent, I don’t think it is Hopi, although it is the shape of many Hopi rings I have seen. You can read about the characteristics of Hopi and Navajo overlay here.

From the photo of the back, I do not see the hallmark. I do have record of a YZ and a Y&R hallmark but no YZR. If you can send a better photo, I will dig deeper.

As far as the plant, it is probably a stylized corn plant.

Paula

To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here

http://www.horsekeeping.com/native-american-jewelry-artifacts.htm

If you are selling your jewelry, read this

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htm

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm

NR330-95-miam-honie-2-200w

Bear Paw Ring – Do You Have Info on the Hallmark?

Hi Paula,

I have a ring with a hallmark that is listed on this site
http://www.art-amerindien.com/signature_picto-hallmarks.htm#inconnu as
an unknown (it’s the one marked 007).

Capture

It appears to be a Hopi-style  overlay ring with a bear claw motif.  I just wondered if you had any  better information on it.
Thanks! V

bearclawring bearclawringfrontHi V,

Although this could be described as Hopi style, I am not convinced it is Hopi made. I don’t see this hallmark in any of my books including Hopi Silver which is where it would appear if it was Hopi. Also I have never seen that style of textured background, either Navajo or Hopi.

Perhaps someone else recognizes the hallmark or the unusual texturizing of the background of the ring.

Paula

I missed out on this buckle – help me find another Paula

Hello
I recently missed out on purchasing this buckle. I really like the style and was hoping that you may know the maker and could point me in the right direction to find something similar.
buckle has two hallmarks, one is the sun face, other is a hammer or stamper in motion. I looked and looked for the hallmark, could be one of the unknown hallmarks out there. I know there are a few well known Native America silversmiths who use the Sun face hallmark. the buckle measures 2 3/4″ x 2″ wide. In beautiful condition, notice the way the sterling silver has been laid on top to form the designs there are only a few Native Americans who do this type of design. Many Thanks

Jim RL-2486_1L untitledHi Jim,

I’ve learned the hard way a few times. When it comes to Native American made jewelry, if you see something you like, you should buy it because it is likely you might never see the same thing again – this is especially true of vintage items.

Overlay pieces are made of two layers. The bottom sterling silver layer is a solid piece. The top sterling silver layer has a design of a scene, figures or symbols meticulously cut out and then placed over the bottom layer. The two pieces are “sweated” together, that is heated, so that they become one. The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is traditionally darkened (oxidized) for contrast. The result is a 3-D picture with great depth and interest.

The bottom oxidized layer (background to the cutout) might be smooth or accented with hash marks. The Navajo silversmiths usually leave the oxidized background smooth like the Sunface pendant by Charlton Lindsay shown below.

Native American Navajo  Sterling Silver Sunface pendant

Hopi Sterling Silver kokopilli belt buckle

Hopi silversmiths etch the background (texturize it) with hashmarks before oxidizing it, like the kokopelli maze buckle by Joe Josytewa shown at left.

As far as the hallmark on the buckle you missed out on, according to Hopi Silver by Margaret Nickelson Wright, variations of the sunface hallmark are associated with a number of independent Hopi artists as well as a quite a few members of the Hopi Silvercraft Guild. The Guild is an association located at the Second Mesa which began producing silverwork in 1949 and continues to the present. Each smith has his own guild stamp, and although all look similar since they are sunfaces, no two are alike. There are a number of examples in Hopi Silver and none look exactly like the one on the buckle you wrote about.

As far as finding something similar, we have a number of outstanding Hopi buckles on this page.

NBU184-koko-maze-josytewa-1Paula

PS. An observant reader pointed out that the buckle depicted a bird when flipped over. She saw an Thunderbird. I see an eagle from the Hopi Eagle Clan.

buckle flipped

Help with Identifying 1970’s Cuff Watch Maker and Lists of Hallmarks

Paula,
I bought a Leagus Ahiyite Thunderbird pin/pendant from you a couple of years ago (to match one given to my mother in 1974-5). I bought it as a surprise gift for my sister so she could have one just like I have, of my mother’s. Perhaps you remember my story.
thunderbird-swingingC-1
My Dad, still living at 91 and missing my mom so much, has a mid-70’s Navajo watch cuff with Morenci turquoise stones, that goes with a matching ‘set’ (ring, bolo, buckle) that he bought in Arizona in 1974-1975 —same time he bought the Ahiyite Pin/pendant. My Dad asked me to see if I could find out the name of the artist/silversmith who made his set, but I have been searching for a couple of years, and so far have been unable to find out the silversmith who uses that hallmark/signature. The hallmark on it is like two bird-wing symbols, top one flying, bottom one upside down. .
Do you recognize this at all? ….or have any idea who the artist was?
Thank you
(PS: and my sister treasures her duplicate Ahiyite pendant!!!)
Susi
Hallmark two wings for Susan
Hi Susi,
Of course I remember that great story of the twin Thunderbirds and the surprise for your sister !! Just love it !! Although the one I posted above is not exactly like the twins, I wanted to include it to commemorate the tale.
Now as far as your father gorgeous watch and ring, bolo, buckle – wow !
But I have not seen the hallmark before. It seems to be related to clouds to me yet one is upside down.
I looked through all of my hallmark books very thoroughly and do not see it.
There is a site that list hallmarks and one of them has a photo of the hallmark, asking for others to help identify it !
It is #87 toward the bottom of this page

Indian Native American Jewelry Artists
 & South West Shop Hallmarks- Symbols

While I am listing hallmark links, here are two links to a list of hallmarks that use letters.

Indian Native American Jewelry Artists
 & South West Shop Hallmarks A to L

Indian Native American Jewelry Artists
 & South West Shop Hallmarks, M to Z

Perhaps one of the readers of this blog might know the hallmark. Or you can watch the Symbols hallmark page I listed above to see if someone adds the name to the hallmark on your dad’s set.

Paula

More Hallmark References for Native American Jewelry Aficianados !

American Indian Jewelry
Volumes I, II and III
by Gregory Schaaf
Assisted by Angie Yan Schaaf
Publisher: Center for Indigenous Arts & Cultures

Hard cover with dust jacket
Comes shrink wrapped
9″ x 11″
Printed in color on heavy glossy stock

These are HUGE wonderfully produced books – hard bound with dust jackets, heavy paper, full cover, beautiful photography. 5 pounds

You can purchase them in our store. Click any photo.

AmIndianJewelry-set-500w

From the publisher on volume 1:

This volume profiles over 1,200 Indian jewelers from all tribes over the past two centuries. The text is illustrated with over 2,000 photographs. This book was created with the cooperation of Indian artists. Through artist surveys, archival research and personal interviews, information was collected in 25 categories: including the artist’s tribe, clan, active years, type of jewelry, lifespan, family relationships, education, teachers, students, awards, exhibitions, collections, forms, techniques, materials, favorite designs, and publications. Websites and email addresses were listed when possible. Many completed a personal statement, “I enjoy creating artwork, because…” Some wrote or narrated autobiographical statements.

AmIndianJewelry-I-300w

From the publisher on volumes 2 and 3:

This is a standard reference for American Indian jewelry, a source for factual information, neatly organized and lavishly illustrated in full color. This is not a revision of our bestseller, American Indian Jewelry I, but a completely new manuscript, organized in two volumes, A-L and M-Z. Look up any one of over 5,000 American Indian Jewelers in seconds.

Each profile identifies the artist by tribe, clan, active years, styles, lifespan, residences, education, teachers, students, awards, exhibitions, demonstrations, collections, photographs, and publications. Many profiles feature original quotations from the artists, as well as comments from scholars, collectors and veterans in the field. Personal portrait pictures and close-ups of their jewelry help to bring their biographies to life.

AmIndianJewelry-II-300w

From the publisher:

American Indian Jewelry II: A-L provides two new features:

The Hallmark Directory offers high resolution, digital close-ups. Many Native American jewelers stamp their work with personal, pictographic symbols or initials. This feature helps identify jewelers.

The Natural Turquoise Directory helps one identify turquoise in Native American jewelry. This is important because the best – Gem-Quality, High-Grade – natural turquoise is valuable. Keys to identification help identify over 25 by specific mines, chosen in a worldwide vote by veteran turquoise collectors.

AmIndianJewelry-III-300w

From the publisher:

American Indian Jewelry III provides three important features:
1. a color spread illustrating Classic and Classic Revival jewelry;
2. a continuation of the “Hallmark Directory” in high-resolution;
3. and new categories for social networks and email addresses.

Furthermore, extensive genealogical research was conducted. The National Archives released the 1940 U.S. Census and the 1930s Indian Census records. Each artist’s family also was more thoroughly researched with the aid of computerized genealogical services.

Paula