Item #759A- XLG Vintage Pre-1940's Navajo Bear Claw Turquoise Squashblossom Necklace

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Item #759A- XLG Vintage Pre-1940's Navajo Bear Claw Turquoise Squashblossom Necklace

3,699.95
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WOW!! Bold rare vintage pre-1940's Navajo Turquoise, bear claw and bear tooth collector's necklace. The necklace sports ten (10) very large bear claws presumably from a brown or grizzly bear each set into a silver claw holder. Each claw holder is decorated with an oval cut and polished gemstone turquoise with dark brown matrix set into a saw tooth bezel. They are also capped with a polished untreated turquoise nugget. The claw holders also are decorated with a swastika or whirling log on each. The other stampwork varies from claw to claw of bear track, full moon, sunrise, figure eight, and plant symbols. The naja part of the necklace is made with two (2) large bear teeth. The half circular setting has whirling logs, bear tracks, thunderbird symbols, and a cyclone or rolling sun with a turquoise nugget set into a smooth silver bezel across the front. The necklace is strung on metal wire and has a very unique combination of silver beads. Standard seamed beads, fluted round beads, fluted saucer beads, and flat seamed oval beads are used to complete the necklace with a hand made shepherd's hook clasp to finish it.

Each claw measures approximately 2 1/2" to 2 3/4" long with the whole claw assembly including the turquoise nugget being 3 1/8' to 3 1/4" long. THe bear tooth naja measures approximately 3 1/2" by 2 3/4" across with each tooth measuring 3" by 7/8" across. The silver beads consist of twenty (20) 8mm round seamed silver beads, twelve (12) 10mm round seamed silver beads, fifty (50) 8-9mm flat seamed round silver beads, forty two (42) 9mm fluted round silver beads, and twenty two (22) 12mm fluted saucer silver beads. The complete necklace measures 28 1/2" long end to end with a wearable length of 17" long from shepherd's hook to bottom of bear teeth. It weighs a hefty 330.1 grams (11.64 ounces or 10.61 troy ounces) and is unsigned. It has tarnished like a silver coin so I'll say it made with coin silver (90% silver) or sterling silver (92.5% silver). Very nice and very rare one-of-a-kind vintage collector's necklace!  $3699.95

 

The swastika motif is found in some traditional Native American art and iconography. Historically, the design has been found in excavations of Mississippian-era sites in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, and on objects associated with the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (S.E.C.C.). It is also widely used by a number of southwestern tribes, most notably the Navajo, and plains nations such as the Dakota. Among various tribes, the swastika carries different meanings. To the Hopi it represents the wandering Hopi clan; to the Navajo it is one symbol for the whirling log (tsil no'oli), a sacred image representing a legend that is used in healing rituals. The swastika's use by the Navajo and other tribes made it a popular symbol for the Southwestern United States. Until the 1930s, blankets, metalwork, and other Southwestern souvenirs were often made with swastikas. Shortly after the beginning of World War II, several Native American tribes (the Navajo, Apache, Tohono O'odham, and Hopi) published a decree stating that they would no longer use the swastika in their artwork. This was because the swastika had come to symbolize evil to the tourists who purchased their crafts. This decree was signed by representatives of these tribes. The decree states:

“Because the above ornament which has been a symbol of friendship among our forefathers for many centuries has been desecrated recently by another nation of peoples.

Therefore it is resolved that henceforth from this date on and forever more our tribes renounce the use of the emblem commonly known today as the swastika or fylfot on our blankets, baskets, art objects, sandpainting, and clothing.”  (Wikipedia)