7 Antique Silver Navajo Indian Native American Concho Buttons Stamped Design Yqz For SaleUntitled Document
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Unusual to Find Seven Matching Buttons!!
- DESCRIPTION -
Please be patient there are 13 photos to be loaded in this sale.
This sale is for a collection of seven antique or vintage Indian (Native American) silver buttons. These seem to line up with Navajo craftsmanship with the design. The buttons are dome shaped with shanks on the back. Although they are a matched set, they display subtle differences that come with hand made items. They each measure approx. 17 mm, nearly 3/4 inch in diameter! Good Luck!
I found this information on Navajo buttons and silversmithing on the internet:
Mexican smiths would travel onto the reservation to trade their silver for Navajo livestock. As the silversmith fashioned a piece, the Navajo who ordered it would certainly have observed and perhaps even assisted by working the bellows. Considering their propensity for acquiring new skills easily, the Navajos must have recognized this as an excellent opportunity to learn to craft their own silver ornaments. It has been recorded that they were casting Navajo jewelry as early as 1865. Silver coins, acquired from soldiers at Fort Defiance and Fort Wingate, were melted down, then poured into hand-carved molds to create a particular design or a simple ingot, which was then cooled, hammered into a thin sheet of Silver, and trimmed to the proper shape. The Navajo jewelry learning process, however, was still gaining momentum. In 1884 John Lorenzo Hubbell (the much-admired Don Lorenzo of Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado) and his partner, C. N. Cotton, hired Mexican smiths to teach silversmithing to the Navajos, and began furnishing some of the coins used to fashion the silver ornaments and Navajo Jewelry. The first Navajo silverwork was rather crude and quite heavy, but it showed a lot of promise. Designs were symmetrical even though smiths had no precision implements; in fact, they had few tools of any kind, often just a hammer, some files, and scissors or metal snips.
Washington Matthews, a young army surgeon from Fort Wingate and the most noted Navajo authority of the 1880s, recorded the tools and techniques used by the smiths to make Navajo Jewelry. For anvils they acquired pieces of train rail, kingpins from wagons, any old pieces of iron large enough, hard stones, or tree stumps. Forges were made of mud or sandstone, the bellows from goatskin bags, and crucibles from anything that worked stones with small hollows, tumbler-sized pottery pieces made especially for that purpose, or iron pipes with one end flattened, turned up, and sealed. A semicircle or V-shaped groove was sometimes cut into anvils for shaping bracelets; the first molds were made from baked clay and discarded after a time. Later molds were carved from iron, wood, or soft sandstone, which was greased with mutton tallow to prevent sticking. Some of the first Silver or Navajo Jewelry items made by Navajo's were the buttons they had previously obtained from Mexicans. Men's trousers, jackets, leather pouches, bridles, saddles, gun scabbards, ketohs, or bow guards, the wide leather bands worn on the left wrist to protect from the bowstring's recoil. and belts were adorned with these Silver ornaments. They also decorated the moccasins and leggings of both sexes, and women's blouses had rows of them at the neck, across the shoulder, down the front, and running the length of both sleeves.
Navajo men put buttons on trousers, jackets, moccasins, belts, pistol belts, gun scabbards, saddles, bridles, leather pouches, pouch straps and bow guards. Women used them as buttons on blouses and decorations running down sleeves and around collars. There were occasions where a Navajo would take buttons off clothing and use it for purchases at the trading post. Estimated shipping weight, (packaged) is 12 oz in a 6 x 4 x 4 box. The Calculator is not always right - if the shipping looks too high email us and we will give you an accurate quote prior to the sale ending. ************ What a great find!
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