Native American Artist and Hallmark Books

Hi Paula,

Is there some kind of publication that gives information on Navajo silversmiths similar to the publication on fetishes?

This is a family heritage that should be preserved .

Thanks.  Ruth D

Hi Ruth,

Great question. Here are the books I know of that name artists, give their hallmarks, a little bio and sometimes some examples of their work. We have many other books here on Native American jewelry but these are the ones I refer to most often to research estate and pawn items. I’m sure there are more that other readers might suggest.

Hallmarks of the Southwest
Barton Wright
9″ x 11″ hardbound book
271 pages
Has drawn hallmarks and brief bio of many Navajo, Zuni and Hopi artists

Native American and Southwestern Silver Hallmarks
Billie Hougart
9″ x 6″ paperback book
519 pages
Has photos of hallmarks and brief bios of many Navajo, Zuni and Hopi artists. Read review by clicking here


Hopi Silver: The History and Hallmarks of Hopi Silversmithing
Margaret Nickelson Wright
9 1/2″ x 6 3/4″ paperback book
147 pages
Has 73 page history with photos
The balance of the book is a Chronological Listing of Hopi Artists and Hallmarks. Hallmarks are drawn

American Indian Jewelry I: 1,200 Artist Biographies
Gregory Schaaf
11″ x 9″ hardbound book
342 pages
Highly illustrated with black and white and color photos of jewelry and artists. Bios range from a few sentences to a few pages.

American Indian Jewelry II: A-L  1,800 Artist Biographies
Gregory Schaaf
11″ x 9″ hardbound book
400 pages
Highly illustrated with mostly color photos of jewelry and artists. Bios range from a few sentences to a few pages.

American Indian Jewelry III M-Z


Reassessing Hallmarks of Native Southwest Jewelry: Artists, Traders, Guilds, and the Government
Pat Messier and Kim Messier
8.5 x 1 x 11.2 inches hardbound
144 pages

The intensive research undertaken for this valuable book properly identifies forty-five Native American silversmiths and their hallmarks found on Southwest jewelry. Most of the marks date prior to the 1970s and some as early as the 1920s, along with the marks of traders, guilds, and the government. This fascinating read also provides the stories of the artists and institutions represented by these marks. Over 275 color and black-and-white images illustrate the marks in situ on the jewelry, along with images of artists, trading posts, and guild ads. The text explains why and when these marks were used. Among the important Navajo, Hopi, and Pueblo silversmiths whose lives and artworks are explored are Grant Jenkins, Fred Peshlakai, Juan De Dios, Da-Pah, Awa Tsireh, and others. The majority of the talented Indian silversmiths represented here left their homes on the reservation in the early twentieth century to work in cities and tourist venues. The profiles presented also feature a handful of contemporary artists who are recognized as master silversmiths.



3 thoughts on “Native American Artist and Hallmark Books

  1. Pingback: Native American Jewelry Authentication Resources – Buyer Beware | Native American Jewelry Tips

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