Turtles are good luck symbols for Natives in the Southwest since they live on and around water – the most precious resource in the high desert.
Lee Charley is a gifted silversmith, and this “scaly” turtle is made with all the skill and care of his more “serious” pieces.
Carefully formed to look realistic, the details Lee created with just a few hand stamping motifs are remarkable.
A rosette of individual little ovals of natural Sleeping Beauty turquoise forms the shell, placed atop the body of the good-luck amphibian.
The splayed flippers, shaped head, rounded shell, and the tiny little, pointed tail, are the naturalistic background for the artist’s virtuoso stamp work.
Overlapping, minutely fluted half-circles cover the flippers, and head, graduating down to practically invisible, at the tip of the teeny tail.
The shell is comprised of a gracefully scalloped edge, with “eyelash” stamps emphasizing the curves and a border of little comma-shaped stamps that circles the raised turquoise rosette.
The all-over silver texture is brightened by the vibrant blue of the turquoise stones, with their smoothly rounded, burnished surfaces.
An artistic, yet realistic depiction of this very welcome amphibian, that you can hang from a chain, or beads, or pin wherever you choose.
Handsome, beautifully fabricated, and versatile, too!