Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Birthday: Two Harry H. Begay Sterling and Turquoise Cuffs

I have decided to throw myself whole hog into a new collecting passion -- Navajo jewelry created by contemporary artists. So, I bought a few pieces with some birthday money. Although this may seem like an expensive hobby, in truth it is no more expensive than my former original comic art habit -- which has mostly become too expensive for my continued participation. Slow, but steady collecting is always the key -- waiting for that good value to come your way.

Two of the new birthday presents are beautiful pieces created by Harry H. Begay. Here are their original lot descriptions and photos.

Harry H. Begay's bracelets are hand-wrought in the traditional style called "ingot work." Harry Begay melts his silver in a crucible and pours it into molds which he then works into desired shapes. Such work requires multiple annealings, which is the process of reheating silver to 1200 degrees to realign the crystalline structure of the silver molecules. Smithing in this fashion is a highly-developed skill and very time consuming, therefore Harry's work is valuable and rare. This awesome triangle wire bracelet by Harry Begay features a beautiful single cab of  Number Eight Turquoise from Nevada with an intricate chocolate brown matrix. The bracelet features deep traditional stamping and a sculpted edge.

Navajo artist Harry H. Begay made this fabulous cuff with his amazing style. He has used a gorgeous piece of Arizona’s legendary Kingman Turquoise. The stone is a stunning blue color and is full of fabulous water web matrix. Surrounding the stone you will find the handmade silver work that has made Harry Begay one of the most sought-after silversmiths in today’s market. He makes his jewelry in the old ways by hammering out his cuff for the perfect width and shape. It is then decorated with stamping, file work, and button-style drops. You don’t see this narrow design from Harry often, so if you collect his work, it is definitely something you will want in your collection.

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