Friday, April 11, 2008

Vintage Zuni Shalako Bolo Tie

I submitted an entry to this blog on the relatively unique work of three dimensional inlay specialist Bev Etsate a couple of months ago. Bev learned the craft from her famous parents. I recently had the opportunity to see a stellar example of her parent's work in a museum case at a showing of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe. I was impressed and began to long for a side-by-side comparison of work done by their talented and obviously well trained daughter. It was a challenge to find vintage work of the parent's for sale, but I finally located a few pieces, the most impressive is the Shalako Kachina shown above. The Zuni Shalako is a diety that comes to Zuni every year near the Winter solstice to bring blessings of fertility, long life and prosperity to Zuni. I also found a similarly sized Ram Dancer Kachina bolo tie by Beverly that I plan to feature on my next blog entry. On careful inspection I did find what a few others have noted, e.g. the parent's work is slightly more refined. Stone upon stone inlay set in silver definitely belongs in the historical and contemporary Zuni domains of this family. Any book showing examples of Zuni jewelry will feature either the work of the parents or daughter. The oval center piece measures 5 x 2 1/4 inches. This piece was made prior to 1975 and contains tortoise shell which is no longer legal. Today's maket value is approximately $2800.00.