This is a beautiful little sterling silver spoon with iconic Native American symbols stamped on the front. The end of the spoon has crossed feathered arrows and arrowhead designs with a small natural turquoise cabochon.
This little spoon was made at the Maisel Indian Trading Post in Santa Fe during the 1940s. Maurice Maisel began the post in 1923 across the street from the Fred Harvey’s Alvarado Hotel. He hired numerous Indian silversmiths to create jewelry and artifacts by hand, but could not meet the demand from tourists. He incorporated a production line assembly room in the back, out of the watchful eyes of the buyers. During the height of the tourist years, he employed as many as 165 Indians. Later during the 1940s he added this kachina-like figure with a headdress and a copyright symbol in the skirt.
Navajo spoons are a very unique art form highly sought by collectors of Native American art as well as aficionados of sterling silver. These spoons are a beautiful – and rare- reminder of the artistry of the Navajo and the early souvenir trade of the Southwest.
Adapted from Reassessing Hallmarks of Native Southwest Jewelry by Pat Messier and Kim Messier and from Navajo Spoons: Indian Artistry and the Souvenir Trade, 1880s-1940s by Cindra Kline
Condition: Very good-original condition
Provenance: Acquired from a private collector from Oklahoma.