Pin, Zuni Inlay, Knifewing, Vintage, 440
On your hat, on your jacket, on your bag -- this vintage Zuni Knifewing pin is going to be perfection. Crafted in traditional Zuni flush inlay style, the pin is a colorful arrangement of turquoise, black onyx, mother of pearl, and -- uniquely -- orange spiny oyster in place of the common red coral, set in sterling silver with intricate accents. Beautiful collector’s item!
The Knifewing spirit is quite an interesting creature, half-man, half-eagle, whose name is derived from its razor-sharp flint-knife wings and tail. It is considered the ultimate warrior and is often revered as the god of war. Anthropologists credit artisan Horace Lule for first depicting the Knifewing circa 1928 when he forged it in silver and turquoise. Over the next couple of decades, the Knifewing image gained in popularity among artisans of different styles and soon became a favorite figure for Zuni inlay. Those mid-century pieces (circa 1930-1960) are particularly sought after by collectors.
- affiliation: Zuni
- markings: ENI (inscribed) appears to be traders code
- materials: sterling silver, onyx, turquoise, mother of pearl, orange spiny oyster
- dimensions: 2" x 2"
- weight: 19 grams
- closure: locking c-clasp
- condition: very nice vintage condition
- style number: JP440