Navajo Antique Pawn Silver and Turquoise Necklace - Cuff Bracelet
This necklace lays stones high towards the shoulder giving it an elegant look not present in many older pieces and it is large, but not a huge necklace. Drapes beautifully just below the collar bone. Trust me, this makes a huge difference when it is worn and you can wear it with many more outfits due to this consideration by the craftsman.
Owned by top Navajo Designer Fred Guerro, who signed the piece, however, it was likely made by an even more skilled craftsman than he and was procured or inherited by Fred and was used as a pawn piece until it was lost. The piece ended up in a Pawn Shop just outside of Memphis and was purchased in 2010 and was gifted to the daughter of Jerry Lee Lewis.
Owned by legendary Navajo Silversmith Guerro whose name is hand engraved on the back.
The Navajo silversmith's used Pawn Shops like banks in the early through the late-mid 20th century, hence the term, "pawn piece." They kept their finest pieces for this purpose and rarely sold them. This set was somehow tragically lost and reemerged decades later at a pawn shop in Northern Mississippi near Memphis. It was gifted to the biological daughter of Jerry Lee Lewis (Phoebe Lewis-Loftin the only living biological child of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Grammy and Country Western Hall of Fame, and American Music Masters award winner, Jerry Lee Lewis and her mother Myra Lewis one of the most famous and controversial couples in Rock & Roll history are her parents.
This piece has not been cleaned since 2010. It was carefully cleaned then to allow dark patina to remain in the fashioned creases and crevices. Beautiful example of Navajo silversmithing. We can clean it if desired.
I don’t think it was ever made to sell but was a family piece that was either gifted or inherited by Fred Guerro or if Fred did make it then It is his finest piece ever. Rather than just decorative or ceremonial a lot of attention was paid to it as a high end piece of Native American jewelry.
It lays perfectly along the neck and was fashioned to negotiate the collar bones without the frequent bulging on lesser pieces that cause them to look awkward and tacky. A truly great piece for Summer travel and it looks great paired with just jeans and a linen shirt or over a black turtleneck sweater. It can also be paired with high fashion pieces and be equally at home.
The cuff bracelet is also exquisite quality turquoise and all are solid perfectly matched colored stones of large size not the new reconstituted turquoise which is ground to powder then epoxies are added to form what we consider to be, manufactured, cheap turquoise. It would be almost impossible and extremely expensive to replicate this piece today. The cost of curating these high end pieces of matched turquoise would exceed the cost of the piece itself and the silver weight alone is substantial, but dispersed in such a way that it never feels heavy or clunky like many modern pieces.
This piece comes with provenance (signed documents from Phoebe Lewis-Loftin. Fred Guerro signed the piece with an engraving tool on the inside likely to establish identity of ownership when pawned. It was common for Native American artists to keep some top pieces to pawn when money was needed and tragically this piece was lost at pawn and was reportedly owned prior by a prominent Memphis entertainer but we can not verify that.
The piece offers a unique and historic buying opportunity for a piece of truly fashionable REAL Navajo silver and turquoise necklace and cuff bracelet. Turquoise is truly top quality stones not recon..