Thursday, October 2, 2008

Paul J. Begay's Tobacco Flask

His hallmark is "PJ Begay." I've run across his fine work frequently and I've occasionally bought and sold some of his bracelets. He once worked for the late Harry Morgan and was no doubt influenced by Harry's technic and old style revival work. Even though Mr. Begay lives in Gallup, we've not crossed paths, but I hope to meet him in the near future now that he has risen to the top tier of my list of outstanding Navajo smiths. My interest in his work was heightened early this week when I was shown the canteen picured above. Such containers were historically created to be used as tobacco flasks, but the market for those is severly diminished, but a good whisky flask still has great market appeal. It is generally only the best of smiths who are willing to craft canteens. This canteen holds 140ml and measures approximately 2 3/4 inches in diameter, 1 1/4 inches in thickness, and is crowned by a #8 Nevada mine turquoise gem stone. Price $1000.