The work of several master jewelers is featured on this page.
Harvey Begay 14k gold Nautilus earrings. $2000. (SANTA FE)
Sugilite coral and turquoise 14k earrings by Richard Chavez. SOLD. (SANTA FE)
Ray and Mary Rosetta were among the most innovative necklace makers at Santo Domingo Pueblo. It was they who created “liquid silver”(about 1958 or 59). Handmade tubular silver beads they were, sadly soon commercially copied but the commercial copies never came close to weight and quality of their work. This five strand serpentine necklace with turquoise, jet, melon shell and pipestone accents, is 18 inches long and includes a chain extender so it can be worn longer. $525. (SANTA FE)
Outstanding spiderweb turquoise from the #8 Mine in Nevada, set in 14k gold with silver raindrop accents. 3 inches long. By Langston Thompson. $3200. (SANTA FE)
Two very fine -but very small- guard bracelets by Mark Chee (1914-1981 - born in Lukachukai and married in a San Juan Pueblo). The photo is from a 1958 article in the Santa Fe newspaper. The bracelets are 4.5 inches with a 1 inch opening. SOLD. (SANTA FE)
Excellent provenance available from the current owner. Originally purchased from my father about 1969. 1.5 inches across at the widest point. 5.75 inches with a 1 1/8 inch opening. SOLD (SANTA FE)
More Loloma work further down the page.
An incredible -it-can-only-be-one-of-a-kind necklace by Sam Patania. Fashioned of 18k gold and set with some of the finest natural turquoise ever to come out of the Candelaria Mine in Nevada. Destined to be an heirloom. $16,000. (SANTA FE)
Denise Wallace (Chugach-Aleut) created FISHERWOMAN using sterling, 14kt gold accents, fossilized ivory and chrysoprase, with one arm hinged for motion. 2 7/8 by 3 inches. "I hope to create pieces that speak to people… pieces that have a life of their own and become part of the world. I have always wanted the pieces to tell a story about our land, our people and some small song or story about the world we live in.” $12,000. (SANTA FE)
A 14kt gold bracelet inlaid with rich deep red coral with turquoise and a fossil ivory accent. Just over 1/2inch wide. By long-time award-winning Navajo jewelry artist, Victor Beck. $4000. (TUCSON)
The very contemporary repoussé bracelet at top left was made for a medium wrist. Just over 1.25 inches across. $875. The two twist guard bracelets with safety chains are $300 each. The traditional-inspired bracelet set with waterweb Kingman turquoise in 14 kt gold bezel and raindrops. 5/8 inch wide. Made for a medium wrist. SOLD (SANTA FE)
Navajo jeweler Arland Ben was born in Bluff, Utah and is from the Edgewater Clan. The son of a medicine man, he first learned silversmithing from his brother-in-law, Vincent Platero. Arland studied art at Brigham Young University and took premed courses at University of Utah (where he was active in wrestling) before he became a jeweler. He has also appeared in such movies as “Last of the Mohicans,” “Geronimo,” and “Buffalo Girls.” This bracelet is set with natural turquoise from the Egyptian Sinai. A ladies' size but made of heavy gauge silver. it's an inch wide. $1200. (TUCSON)
The Patania Family - the only family of metal smiths to have their work included in the Smithsonian Museum (in the Renwick Gallery).
listen to their story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xgcWwiixpY
Frank Patania Sr came to this country with his widowed mother in 1908, fleeing the devastation of an earthquake in Messina, Sicily, where he had been apprenticed at age 6 to a goldsmith. While in New York he contracted TB and was sent to Santa Fe in 1924 to recover. By 1927 he was well enough to open his own silversmith shop in Santa Fe (and in Tucson in 1937) with his brother Carmelo “Pat” where he forged a new design aesthetic that reverberates to this day - a unique blend of Old World metalworking and the influence of the Southwest. Over the years many American Indian jewelers have apprenticed with the Patania family.
Frank Jr (b 1932) began working full-time as a silversmith in his father’s shop in 1956. Over time he made his mark creating very modern pieces, including liturgical work – some of it monumental in size. His son Sam, the third generation, is forging into yet new territory, inspired by the work of the previous two generations but reflecting his own artistic vision. Joining them is the newest Patania apprentice: 4th generation Marco.
Both bracelets by Frank Patania Jr. Each is 1.5 inches wide and made for a medium-small wrist (just over 5.5 with a 1 inch opening). Each is $1100. (The one at left is in Tucson and the other in Santa Fe)The 14k gold and sterling ring by Frank Je, set with an unusual cut amethyst in a gold bezel. Size 8+. $528. (SANTA FE)The sandcast band is 5/8 inch at the widest point. $528. Diu to vision issues, Frank is no longer making jewelry that involves soldering: only plain silver file and chisel work - at which he still excels..(SANTA FE)
Two 18k gold hand-wrought bracelets by Frank Patania Jr, Both are 1/2 inch wide, measuring 5.25 inches with a 1+ inch opening. The one at left, set with natural, top-grade spiderweb turquoise from the #8 Mine in Nevada is $6,450. The other, with white gold dots, is $2450. Both are in Tucson.
At right is an amethyst and sterling cuff created by Sam Patania. (TUCSON)
Work by the legendary Hopi artist Charles Loloma (1921-1991), who opened the door to amazing innovation in American Indian jewelry beginning in the early 1960s. A ceramicist by training (he and his wife, Otellie, earned a degree in ceramics from Alfred University's School for American Craftsmen in 1949) He and my father met in the mid 1950s and became lifetime friends and I spent the summer with Charles at his tiny studio outside the village of Hotvela when I was 15, but it is far more than personal friendship and regard that makes me say that Charles was one of the seminal jewelers of the second half of the 20th century.
Please note that there are counterfeits of Loloma's work out there. We provide written documentation on each piece, including the prior owner's signature.
The men's bracelet at right is a design that I've never seen repeated. 1 7/8 inch wide. SOLD (SANTA FE).
The bracelet is set with Persian turquoise in a 14kt gold bezel. 1 /78 inch across. It fits a medium-small wrist and was acquired by the late owner in the 1970s. $12,500.
From the collection of a musician and record shop owner in Tucson who acquired it from Charles in the very early 1960s. Unsigned but full documentation authenticating it is available.It was hammered from behind to provide dimensionality. 3.25 by 1 1/8 inches and made for a 3/4 to 7/8 inch belt. $8500.(SANTA FE)
A Loloma sandcast corn pendant, circa 196-64. It measures 4 inches in length.$6000. (TUCSON)
By the extremely talented Duane Maktima (Laguna-Hopi). The bracelet is a medium to small ladies size and is just under 1 inch wide. Set with rosarita and turquoise with gold dividers. SOLD. The 14k gold pendant is inlaid with three shades of turquoise, rosarita and boulder opal, with gold dividers. (SANTA FE)