Book Look: Southwestern Indian Rings by Paula A. Baxter

Like Paula Baxter states in her Dedication, I never feel “fully dressed without wearing at least one Navajo or Pueblo ring.”

In my case, sometimes I just have to wear more !  Being a Native American ring aficionado, I found this book an interesting reference.

In over 350 color photographs (taken by her husband Barry Katzen), Paula shows historic and contemporary rings made by Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Santo Domingo artists and more.  The photos here in my article are not from Paula Baxter’s book – they are photos of my personal rings and some from the store where I work.

Unmarked vintage turquoise – likely Navajo

 

 

 

 

Coral by Rose Castillo Draper, Navajo

 

 

Larry Pooyouma, Hopi

Sidney Sekakuku Jr. – Hopi

Richard and Geneva Terrazas, Zuni

Morris and Sadie Laahte, Zuni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents of the Book

The Design and Appeal of Southwestern Indian Rings

Materials and Methods of Ring Construction

Historical Rings: Pre-Contact to 1930

Vintage Rings, 1930-1979: The Age of Experimentation

Master Innovator

Artistic Adornment: 1980 to Present

It is in the Master Innovator section that she shows and discusses work by Dan Simplicio, Fred Peshlakai, Lee Yazzie, Charles Loloma, Jesse Monongya, Kenneth Begay and others.

Contemporary artists include Sonwai and Arland Ben to mention just a few.

Besides displaying rings in the customary silver and turquoise, there are a number of rings showing other materials including variscite, pink coral, sugilite, petrified wood, ironwood, fossilized ivory, opal, jade, azurite, fire agate as well as many other agates, jasper, tortoise shell and more.

Jasper

White Buffalo Stone by Freddy Charley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother of Pearl by Rose Castillo Draper, Navajo

Lapis by Navajo Bennie Ration

 

Natural Royston Turquoise by Navajo Walter Vandever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula

 

 

 

 

Nancy and Ruddell Laconsello – Zuni Inlay artists

Nancy and Ruddell Laconsello are known for their beautiful Zuni inlay jewelry predominately birds.

Nancy Haloo, born in 1952, learned jewelry making from her father Jake Haloo. She began making her own style of inlay in 1972.

Nancy Haloo

Nancy Haloo Laconsello

She married Ruddell Laconsello and they began making jewelry together in 1976.

Nancy and Ruddell Laconsello

Nancy and Ruddell Laconsello

They are a successful husband and wife team who follow the tradition of Nancy’s parents, Jake Haloo and Lola Pinto Haloo, in their division of duties. Ruddell does the stone cutting, grinding, carving and polishing while Nancy does the inlay work.

Nancy and Ruddell Laconsello

Nancy and Ruddell Laconsello

Nancy and Ruddell’s work is characterized by birds in natural settings, such as on trees or with flowers or leaves.

Blue Jay pendant necklace by Ruddell and Nancy Laconsello

Blue Jay pendant necklace by Ruddell and Nancy Laconsello

bolo

birds

They also are known for the engraving they add to their mosaics which gives rich texture and detail to the image.

Engraved detail on vintage Laconsello eagle ring

Engraved detail on vintage Laconsello eagle ring

Nancy’s family is full of noted jewelers including Dolly Banteah, Rolanda Haloo, Lolita Natachu, Jake Livingston and others.

Ruddell and Nancy use variations of their hallmark RNL ZUNI on their pieces.

RNL ZUNI hallmark of Ruddell and Nancy Laconsello

RNL ZUNI hallmark of Ruddell and Nancy Laconsello

Vintage Laconsello ring

Vintage Laconsello ring

Paula

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Vintage Peridot Ring

Vintage Peridot Ring

Vintage Peridot Ring

 

Peridot is a transparent green variety of the mineral olivine that is used as a popular gemstone. It is the birthstone for August and its use in jewelry dates back to the Egyptian pharaohs. It ranges in color from yellowish green to dark lime green. It is found throughout the world but the largest known deposit of gem quality stones is in the United States on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. Peridot is both a day stone and a night stone, keeping its shining color even under artificial lighting. For this reason, it is sometimes called “Evening Emerald”. Although Peridot can be pronounced both with and without the “t” at the end, most professionals in the gem trade pronounce the “t”.

This ring is marked WC – if anyone knows the maker, please let me know ! Thanks Paula

Hallmark WC

Hallmark WC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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I want to get a ring like I saw in the movie Thunderheart

Hello Paula,

I want to get a ring like I saw in Thunderheart, the movie with Val Kilmer. Can you help?

Brad

Hi Brad,

There were actually 4 rings prominently featured in Thunderheart.

Three were worn by Ted Thin Elk who played Grandpa Sam Reaches, the elder who lived in the remote trailer house.

His wore two Navajo rings. One was a turquoise stone and one was a white buffalo stone. He also wore a  Zuni ring made by Effie Calavaza that had coral and turquoise and a snake winding between the stones.

Here are examples of the 3 rings Ted Thin Elk wore.

PR161-turq-11-lee-1

PR161-turq-11-lee-2 Navajo Turquoise and Sterling Silver ring by Larson Lee

 

PR157-WB-turq-1034-FB-1

Vintage NOS (New Old Stock) Navajo Turquoise and Sterling Silver ring PR157-WB-turq-1034-FB-2

 

NR490-10-wbuffalo-1

NR490-10-wbuffalo-2 Navajo Sterling Silver and White Buffalo Stone ring with cigar band by Stanley Parker

 

 

NR382-snake-turq-coral-effie-1

NR382-snake-turq-coral-effie-3 Zuni Sterling Silver Turquoise and Coral snake ring by Effie Calavaza

 

Graham Greene, who played the tribal police officer Walter Crow Horse, wore a Navajo ring with a rectangular turquoise stone like these.

NR442-A-E-turq-calladito-B

NR442-A-E-turq-calladito-D Navajo Turquoise and Sterling Silver Ring by Michael Calladito

 

Paula

Can I wear this inlay ring to do dishes and shower without worry?

Hi Paula,

Can I wear this ring to do dishes and shower with out worry
Thanks Daniel

NR448-AB-inlay-masonic-concho-A3-400w NR448-AB-inlay-masonic-concho-B3-400w

Dear Daniel,

What??????

PR708-WB-owl-kallestewa-1No, you would have to worry big time. Inlay items are made of many small pieces of stone and shell that are affixed to a backing and to each other. Getting inlay wet such as in a dishpan or shower would allow water to get under the inlay and loosen it. It is NOT a good idea.

Inlay, properly cared for, will last decades as shown by the many wonderful pawn and estate lot pieces we receive. But any inlay, old or new, should be treated with respect and common sense.

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

NR367-75-inlay-house-1

What can you tell me about this ring I found in my husband’s grandmother’s old jewelry?

Hi Paula
I was going through my husbands grandmothers old jewelry and found a silver and turquoise ring. There appears to be a marking of some sort on the back. It looks like it says “SH ZUNI”. Is there any info you can tell me about his piece or can you point me in the direction to find out more about it. I can send pictures if you would like. Thank you for your time!
Charity
IMG_20140324_101002 IMG_20140324_101015Hi Charity,
That is the hallmark of Sharon Hustito, a Zuni artist who specializes in Petit Point.
Click to read about Petit Point and look at similar rings by clicking the photo below.
NR334-petit-dishta-1Paula
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.htmIf you are selling your jewelry, read this
http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htmVisit our pawn shop for your research and shopping
http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm
PP307-turq-petit-1