Dear Paula –
I just bought a pendant marked on the oval back as:
Quick online research implies this is Mr. Sacatero’s work.
The back is a concave oval measuring 2″ by 1 1/2″.
The front has five small claws, arranging as a right-hand paw (??) at the bottom of the piece.
The 5 ‘knuckles’ are small, perfectly-matched red coral (??).
The piece is about 3/4″ thick where the 5 red stones are, but not solid.
At the top, centered, is a single turquoise stone, mostly blue with distinctive black flecks. This stone is about 1/4 ” across.
The turquoise stone is surrounded by 3 overlapping silver sworls.
The 5 knuckles have tiny silver beads in uneven line on the top and bottom of the row of coral.
I am curious if Mr. Secatero is prominent and respected, and if you can offer any interpretations…. a standard piece for a man to wear as a pendant? High dollar value? Historical importance?
Should I polish?
Thank you for your time. I’ll be grateful for any comment.
I like the piece very much.
Cannot find anything online that is at all similar. Wonder if the piece has special significance , in the paw shape with turquoise , coral knuckles plus 5 claws.
Am very happy with my find here in the east!!!-:))Again my thanks -Pete

ESHi Pete,
The hallmark
is that of Navajo silversmith Elaine Sam, noted for her bear claw necklaces, bracelets, watches and pendants.
Currently we only have one item by Elaine Sam in our store. If you click on the photo, it will take you to the page.
NBT306-bearclaw-xxlg-sam-2We have had a number of her bear claw squash blossom style necklaces over the years. We purchased one this year and it sold a week after we listed it. Yes, Elaine Sam is still producing jewelry. Here is what her bear claw necklaces look like:
NBC62-1Your pendant is beautiful ! Judging by its size, it is made with badger claws to represent either a badger or bear paw.
As far as symbolism, the usual interpretation and the artist’s intent might be different but to get an idea of powers attributed to animals, you can visit here
As far as polishing, that’s a matter of personal preference. It looks nice as is.
This pendant would be suitable for a man or a woman to wear.
We don’t do appraisals from photos, but the value in a piece is in its significance to a person and it sounds like you hold this pendant in high esteem, so that means it has great worth !

7 thoughts on “Who signs “NAVAJO HANDMADE ES” ?

  1. I sent you a photos of a necklace and bracelet signed ES that you have not gotten to yet, not this style, no bear claws. I am searching your blog weekly hoping for an ID. Pretty sure mine is older and is signed in script. I will keep on watching.

  2. I have a brand new sterling silver bear claw squash blossom necklace handcrafted by Silversmith Elaine Sam “ES”

  3. Allard’s is selling one of her claw necklaces (just like the one above) in their Phoenix auction Nov 12 & 13. It has an estimate of only $600-1200! Lot # 164 🙂

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