spoon

I-1-49 Navajo silver spoon.

The Navajo are an Athabaskan speaking people belonging to the Nadene linguistic family and refer to themselves as the “Dene” which means “the people”. Like their close relations, the Apache, they migrated in ancient times from the far northern Canadian interior into what is now the southwestern United States. They have the largest reservation in the country, which is also their traditional homeland, encompassing parts of southeast Utah, northeast Arizona and northwest New Mexico. The Navajo were the first to become famous for silver and turquoise jewelry in the Southwest but they were also quite skilled at making non-jewelry items such as bowls, trays, spoons, and boxes to mention just a few items. Some of the earliest items that the Navajo made for sale to non-Indians were silver spoons. These were sold along the railroad lines and inspired by the late Victorian habit of collecting silver spoons from one’s travels. This charming example is made from a cold hammered silver coin (silver laminations or fissures on the back of the handle are indicative of this technique). The top of the handle has a Fred Harvey type thunderbird with unusually detailed stamped feathers on the body of the bird.

It measures 5 3/4 inches long. Circa 1910. $375.00