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    Navajo "Squash Blossom" Necklace, ca. 1910

    Appraised Value:

    $4,000 - $6,000

    Appraised on: June 6, 2009

    Appraised in: Atlantic City, New Jersey

    Appraised by: Linda Dyer

    Category: Tribal Arts

    Episode Info: Atlantic City, Hour 1 (#1404)

    Originally Aired: January 25, 2010

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Necklace
    Material: Silver, Turquoise
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $4,000 - $6,000

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    Appraisal Video: (-1:15:17)


    Appraised By:

    Linda Dyer
    Tribal Arts
    Antiques Appraiser and Consultant,, Specialist, American Indian Art and Ethnographica

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My mother had found it at a garage sale ten years ago. Did I say ten years ago? I meant 40 years ago.

    APPRAISER: 40?

    GUEST: Yes. She bought it for about ten dollars. And I had been to a museum, and I had seen squash blossom necklaces. And mine was nicer than anything that I had seen, so that's why I'm here. I know possibly it's Navajo, but that's all I know.

    APPRAISER: That squash blossom is the most commonly known piece of Navajo jewelry. It's been made since the 1860s. The inspiration for the components of the piece come from the Moors and the Spanish tradition. When Spain came here, they influenced the Mexicans, and the Mexicans taught the Navajo how to make silver. The components of the necklace, the thing that's referred to as the naja, is a talisman the Moors and the Spaniards used to ward off evil. The Spanish pomegranate flower was the inspiration for these flowers, which the Navajo, when pressed, said they're squash blossom flowers. But the name, actually, in Navajo, means "the bead that expands." We see 100 of these a day here in the Roadshow. I'm not exaggerating. (laughs) This is an extraordinary example, made in the 1900s, 1920s, that just is the best of the best. It is coin silver. The stone was an adaptation from a necklace. You can see a little drill mark in the stone, so it's a natural piece of turquoise probably pulled off a very old necklace. And the file marking on it, the weight, it is just a classic piece. Navajo jewelry in the early days had a very subtle beauty to it, and this exudes it. So, I just love the piece. It gave me... it just gave me a thrill to see it.

    GUEST: Well, when I saw your face, I said, "Uh-oh." "Special."

    APPRAISER: Yeah. "It must be special." What do you think it's worth based on what you... you did some research.

    GUEST: I don't know, $2,000. I don't... I don't really know.

    APPRAISER: This one, on an auction market, will sell for $4,000 to $6,000.

    GUEST: That's great. It's very special.

    APPRAISER: I'm glad it survived the ages.

    GUEST: Yeah, me, too.

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