Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Johnson Duboise - Navajo Inlay Artist

This pendant is the type of treasure I love to find.  It gives me a picture opportunity to promote an unknown or scarcely known artist of great merit.   Jewelry aficionados, especially upon knowing that the work is of exclusive Navajo origin, will likely recognize the silver craft design of excellence by Calvin Begay.    Although the back of the piece along with the silver casing is attractive, the real appeal is the micro-inlay of jasper, mother of pearl, lab opal, Acoma jet, and tiny bits of round sterling wire slivers.    The whole pendant measures 1 7/8 inches in length.  The small bale is not roomy enough in its interior dimension for the artist's imprint so it is not a hallmarked work; nonetheless, the collaborative piece is a product of Sunrise Indian Jewelry in Gallup, New Mexico which is, I believe, the crème de la crème of the Native American jewelry manufacturing houses that encourage, train, and bring artists together.    Authentic Native American art is all too often copied and sold as a markedly inferior product, so it is worthwhile to inquire about provenance when considering a purchase.   The pendant above is worth about $500.