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A stunning, large-scale contemporary Navajo
sterling silver cuff bracelet by Jennifer Curtis, 2018
How many little girls grow up literally with a silversmith’s hammer in their small hands? Jennifer Curtis (b.1964) is one who did, first beginning to work silver at the very tender age of eight at the side of her famous Father, the outstanding Navajo silversmith Thomas Curtis, Sr. (1942-2013)
The old saying “Like Father, Like Daughter” certainly applies here and in spades. Jennifer Curtis is a very serious and especially talented chip off the old block; Thomas Curtis Sr. taught and mentored the young Jennifer in all aspects of traditional Navajo silversmithing and you can clearly see the marvelous similarities in the work of these two fine artists; use of heavy solid silver, intricate, precisely and deeply-applied stamp and chisel work and a powerful, bold and compelling traditional design sensibility.
This fine bracelet is a simply exceptional example of Jennifer Curtis’ work. Aesthetically and technically, it is first-rate in every aspect. The large chiseled and repousseed oval-shaped central medallion stands out beautifully from the shank on either side which is decorated with striking, large matched arrow stamp designs. The entire shank is finished in a slightly matte brushed or “satin” type finish which gives the silver a remarkably beautiful glow.
“My work is an extension of my history, my family. My biggest influence is my master, my teacher, my father. His recent passing has brought special meaning to each swing of the hammer, each design I create.”
-Jennifer Curtis, 2014
The bracelet measures 1” in width at its widest center point and tapers down to in 1/2” width at the terminals. It is definitely sized for the larger wrist. The inner circumference end-to-end is 6 1/4” and the gap between the terminals is 1 3/8” for a total interior circumference of 7 5/8”. The silver shank is just slightly under 1/8” in thickness. The bracelet weighs a substantial 74 grams or 2 5/8 ounces yet it is extremely comfortable on the wrist. It is in new original condition and it is properly signed on the interior with Jennifer Curtis’ cursive hallmark of her first name “Jennifer” and is also marked “Sterling”. This is an extremely attractive, beautifully-crafted and easily wearable piece by one of the very finest Navajo silversmiths working today.
This bracelet is a big statement, so to speak, with a commanding presence. Large and in charge.