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Rare Large Vintage Knifewing Bolo


Item Number: DR 1284
Pueblo: Zuni Pueblo
Artist: Unsigned
Medium: Silver, turquoise, jet, mother of pearl, coral
Age: Circa 1950s – as determined by the Bennett clip on the bolo
Dimensions: 5” X 3 ½”   42” cord with tips



This beautiful vintage bolo is quite unique and rare.

The bolo tie is a classic icon of Southwestern style worn for both formal and casual occasions. Today it is worn by both men and women and represents the best of inlay and silversmithing artistry.

The knifewing has been inlaid with a variety of stones which reflect the cardinal colors of Zuni.  The precision work on this piece is immaculate and striking. The mosaic inlay shows no separations between the inlaid stones of coral and turquoise, mother of pearl and jet. The smooth bezels on the silver work securely hold the natural inlaid stones.  Silver rain drops encircle the entire Knifewing, as well as each section of the bolo.  The leather cord with silver tips has been replaced at some time.

This is a spectacular early piece of inlay work representing the Zuni Knifewing. Also spelled Knife Wing, this figure is a half man – half eagle Zuni spirit or god with razor sharp feathers made of flint. He is the ultimate warrior and is the hero of hundreds of folklore tales. He is represented as possessing a human form, furnished with flint knife-feathered pinions, and tail. His dress consists of the conventional terraced cap (representative of his dwelling place among the clouds). His weapons are the Great Flint-Knife of War, the Bow of the Skies (the Rainbow), and the Arrow of Lightning. The knifewing became one of the first designs that the Zuni inlaid with stones. This is a masterpiece of precision inlay.

Condition: Excellent – original condition with the exception of the replaced cord.
Provenance: Acquired from a private collector.

Additional information

Weight 4 oz