Wednesday, March 12, 2008

From the Indian Jewelry Hall of Fame

The August 1974 edition of ARIZONA HIGHWAYS featured an article representing a special collection of Indian jewelry called The Arizona Highways Hall of Fame Classics. Three masterworks of Dennis Edaakie were shown and he was hailed as a Grand Master of his medium. In 1975 in Vol I of ZUNI, The Art and The People, Ed and Barbara Bell wrote "Dennis and Nancy (Edaakie), without a doubt, two of the best known silversmiths in Zuni, are all the more remarkable because they have been practicing their art for the relatively short time of 10 years. Their beautiful inlay work may be seen in most of the finer collections of Indian jewelry. When found in the finer collections of Indian jewelry, it is usually marked 'Not for Sale.' " Sadly, Nancy Edaakie was not given even a footnote's worth of credit in the ARIZONA HIGHWAYS article. I featured the Edaakie's in a brief blog entry a couple of months ago, see Birdman and Ladybird of Zuni.

What impresses me about the "Hall of Fame Jewelry" masters is that their work is so reasonably priced. Once a noted jewelry artist stops producing, their work tends to skyrocket in value, but even long lived artists often find their early works very highly valued as vintage pieces. Regardless of how much longer Dennis and Nancy remain productive, their work will live on through their well trained children.
A few weeks ago, I placed a special order with the Edakkies for a Trout Bolo tie. I'm still patiently waiting.