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A beautiful, Modernist-style White Hogan

Shop silver and turquoise cross pendant

necklace by Nicholas Gambino, c. 1970’s

This Lovely and distinctive pendant is a perfect expression of a fascinating and historic Southwestern jewelry-making philosophy. Modernist-Style Native American jewelry made with completely traditional and historic Navajo techniques and methods was the unique and innovative aesthetic approach of Scottsdale, Arizona’s famed White Hogan Shop under the inspired leadership of Co-Founder Kenneth Begay (1913-1977) the legendary “Father of Modern Navajo Silver” and

this distinctive streamlined cross pendant necklace  fits this exalted aesthetic to a Tee.

Nicholas (Nick) Gambino is certainly not your typical name in Native American silversmiths but Nick Gambino (b.1940’s)

was one of the 20th Century’s finest and most creative Native American silversmiths. He was neither Navajo or Pueblo in ancestry; he was actually a Morongo Mission Indian from Southern California, but beginning in 1971 he went to work at Scottsdale, Arizona’s White Hogan Shop where he was mentored and rigorously trained by Kenneth Begay (1913-1977) and Begay’s talented first cousins Allan Kee and George Kee so Gambino made his jewelry with the sleek and innovative Modernist design aesthetic and meticulous traditional methods of craftsmanship used at White Hogan.

Gambino distinguished himself at White Hogan by virtue of his obvious talent and artistic creativity as can be nicely seen in the streamlined, elegant form and perfect execution of this cross pendant. Seemingly simple, but in reality extremely demanding, fabricating a form this perfectly balanced and well-proportioned requires a great eye and a precise hand and the result here is flawlessly done. The perfectly executed facets of the pendant catch the light beautifully and preciously. The “cherry” on top of the silver sundae is a lovely small round piece of blue spiderweb turquoise with a

rich reddish matrix, possibly from the famed Bisbee Mine in Arizona.

The necklace measures 11 1/2" in length from the top of the silver clasp to the bottom of the cross pendant measured while lying flat on a table. The necklace circumference all the way around is 19". The silver cross pendant itself measures 1 7/8" in length and it is 1 1/16" in width at its widest point and 3/16" in depth. The silver pendant and chain together weighs a very comfortable and easy to wear 16 grams or 1/2 ounce and they are in completely excellent original condition with very little indication of wear at all. The pendant is properly signed “NG” in Nicholas Gambino’s co-joined capital letter initials signature and it is also stamped with The White Hogan Shop’s famous domed Navajo hogan hallmark. The pendant is strung on a beautiful handmade silver link chain, very likely also made by Nicholas Gambino but we are

not entirely certain of this.

This sweet lovingly-crafted cross pendant is a perfectly-crafted classic of its time and place and it has stood the

test of time beautifully for five decades now and will continue to do so long into the future. As a devotional object and

a strikingly modern piece of precious silver jewelry it serves its dual functions with considerable grace and beauty.

Price $425


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