Native American Pin Vest

In days gone by, small to medium pins were commonly worn on blazer lapels, sweaters, coats, jackets, scarves. clutch purses and hats…………pins were a fashion staple.

See the slide show below for samples of classic Navajo pins.

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A brooch is a large decorative piece of jewelry pinned to a sweater or dress to complete and outfit and make a bold statement. Large grandmother pins can be thought of as a brooch.

 

Native American artists have made many styles of pins over the years and continue to do so today.  They range in size from tie tacks and hat pins all the way up to large petit point pins and employ all types of animals, symbols and designs.

See the slide show below for samples of Zuni, Hopi and Navajo symbols.

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Although I have written about ways to use pins in previous blog posts, truth be told, I rarely use pins unless it is as a pendant, using a pin-to-pendant converter.

See these articles:

Pins Make a Comeback

Native American Pins 

Native American Pins Beautify Handbags

Like many Native American jewelry aficionados, I have accumulated quite a few pins and rather than just look at them in a drawer or box, I decided to use a denim vest to display some of them.

See the slide show below for examples of animal pins.

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Butterfly pins are popular by both Zuni and Navajo artists.

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Cluster and grandmother pins are made by both Zuni and Navajo artists.

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Paula

While metal detecting found a vintage Boy Scout Badge or Native American pin?

Hi Paula,

I have been trying to see what this item is and thought it was a boy scout pin of some kind.  I found it while metal detecting near a spot here in Illinois where a pool had been in the early 1900’s.  It was pretty deep, leading me to think it has been lost for a long time, but you never know.

 It appears to be all silver because it was not tarnished in the least, is about 1.5 inches across the top.  The back is plain except for two loops that appear to be soldered on.  One is open to receive a pin, and the other appears to have held a pin that has corroded away.  My guess is the pin was not stiff and was intended to be inserted and then fed into the loop.  Does not seem like a good design, but that is all I can figure out.  No markings other than the symbols on the front.

I posted on a metal detecting site and asked if anyone knew what it was.  One person suggested it might be actually native american or trade silver.  The other suggested it might be an old scout “order of the arrow” award or honor.

Since you specialize in similar new native american items, I thought I would take a shot to ask if you had any clue.

Thanks

Frank

Hi Frank,

I can see why you might think this might be a vintage Boy Scout badge. It almost looks like something one might wear over the top button of a shirt with a collar. Or on a pocket flap.

To me it is reminiscent of Fred Harvey era Native American items such as were sold at Bell Trading Post.

Fred Harvey was an entrepreneur who created an avenue for Indians to make and sell jewelry to the tourists. Jewelry of the Fred Harvey era has typical Indian kitsch of arrows, tomahawks, tipis, thunderbirds and so on and was most produced from 1930 throughout the 1950s. Read more about Fred Harvey here.

The very symbols on your piece (crossed arrows and rain clouds with rain) were quite common on jewelry from that era.

Have you tested it for sterling silver or silver to verify?  Cool piece.

Maybe another reader will leave a comment here if they have seen something similar.

 

UPDATE JUNE 28, 2011

HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS OF THE BACK OF THE PIN TO SHOW SCALE AND TOOL MARKS.

 

 

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