Henry Rosetta was a very creative artist who kept to tradition, shied away from publicity, and yet translated tradition into marvelously contemporary, and imaginative pieces. We are so sad that he recently passed away, like quite a few other Native artists. Happily, we still have a few pieces of his, like this truly unique pendant – unusual even for Henry.
In this asymmetrical pendant, the artist’s trademark, inlaid stone slivers are seen at the side, but most of the piece is comprised of single stones or shell. Encased in sterling silver, flat triangles of coveted purple spiny oyster (wampum; used as currency in trade for centuries) bookend the palisade of blue turquoise, red coral and green chrysoprase. A rounded arch of white clamshell is embedded in the top piece of purple shell.
On the right side, three stones are set within the boxed sterling. At the top, a small oblong of pretty pink coral; ovals of dark blue lapis and brilliant blue turquoise are in single file, below. This design is distinctly contemporary, but the materials and technique go back in time. Reeling off the stones and colors sounds like a mish-mash, but artistry has made a pleasing composition of complementary hues into a striking medley of color, held together – literally – by the polished silver.
An outstanding example of this artist’s imagination and creativity, this pendant will attract attention and compliments without shouting. We only wish we could look forward to more beautiful surprises from this wonderful jeweler.
Sterling Silver, Purple Spiny Oyster Shell, Sugilite, Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, Red Coral, Chrysoprase, Snail Shell, Pink Coral, Lapis
Width: 1″ Height: 2 1/4″ Depth: 1/4″