“Navajo Victorian” Pendant with Morenci Turquoise
A glorious, natural Morenci turquoise oval is surrounded by equally spectacular silver work, in this delightfully ornate pendant.
Belying the delicacy of this design, this well-known jeweler began life as a heavy-equipment operator. However, within a year of making his first pendant, he was able to support his family through his art!
Mentored by the late, great, Gibson Nez (no relation), Leonard shared a love of rodeo, as well as jewelry-making with him.
Insistence on precise silver work and high-quality, natural stones, is also something they have shared.
This enchanting pendant shows all of the above.
Set high and proud in the center, the wonderful turquoise has glints of pyrite – fool’s gold – matrix, as well as some darker areas that emphasize the high, rounded form of the stone. The clear, vivid blue is another characteristic of this beautiful Morenci stone.
A wonderful array of silver designs surround the stone, giving the piece a feminine, Victorian feel. But they are traditional Native, in inspiration.
At top and bottom, a trio of cut-out feather forms are both stamped and raised. Around the stone itself, more feathery forms, above and below, are accompanied by stepped rain signs. These are overlaid, flat, and gleaming with a high polish.
The edges of the pendant are cut out in scallops, separated by tiny balls of glistening silver.
Each scallop is either stamped or applied, with a rounded “comma”.
Even the bail is decorative: polished, raised borders against a darkened center, with a row of the little silver balls on top.
Decorative, deliciously elaborate, but crisply balanced, this pendant is fastidious in workmanship, with a splendid stone.
Navajo Neo-Victorian? Simply beautiful, whatever you call it!