Identifying signature/hallmark on vintage Navajo bolo.
Asked Feb 25, 2008, 05:50 PM
Hello, Have recently bought a silver bolo which I believe is Navajo in origin. I was told it was at least 60 years old. Quite large it measures 3 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches and weighs on a postal scale 120 grams. The front is set with pieces of coral and turquoise and in the center is a dimensional figure of a bear that appears to be cast. All the other detail on the piece looks hand wrought. Curved around the head of the bear is a bear claw (I'm assuming real). The back is signed in script and reads 'Handmade by J (or possibly L it is diffucult to determine) Nez'. Underneath that signature there it is stamped sterling in very tiny block letters. I'm a little put off by the signature and wonder if it is original to the piece or someone wanting to add value to the piece by signing it. I've never seen anything signed as 'handmade by'. Most pieces I've seen are stamped. Can anyone identify this piece and/or the artist?