Bought on the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon – is this Zuni or Navajo?

Hi Paula,

I recently received a beautiful inlay ring as a gift from my step mother.  It was purchased on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon.  It is approximately 1 inch, silver with a tri-color inlay; possibly jet, turquoise and mother of pearl.  Aside from the “L” mark on the back, there are no other identifying markings.   Would you be able to tell if it was a Zuni or Navajo piece?  Or perhaps tell me more about it?

Heidi

1 photo photo2 photo3Hi Heidi,

It is hard to tell from the photos but it seems there is sterling silver channel in-between the inlay pieces of jet, turquoise and mother of pearl. This usually, but not always, signifies Navajo work. Zuni inlay is usually stone on stone. That is a generalization but holds true in 90% of the cases.

PR710-WB-inlay-tsethlekai-1

Stone on stone Zuni inlay

NR465-734-inlay-bitsie-1

Sterling silver channel Navajo inlay

As far as the L, I don’t see it in your photo, but even so, the L hallmark is used by several artists.

So there, I’m not much help, am I?

Perhaps another reader of the blog might recognize the work or hallmark.

Paula

2 thoughts on “Bought on the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon – is this Zuni or Navajo?

  1. I think the Doris Theslakai ring you used for your example is GORGEOUS, Paula. That’s a fabulous piece. Wow. While there are a lot of examples of silver lines in the inlay in Zuni work, I still agree the example questioned is probably Navajo because the silver work looks more Navajo to me. So for an entirely different reason than yours I think it’s Navajo. I don’t know the artist. I’m crazy about that Doris ring which has completely distracted me.

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