© 2010-2023 by Fine Arts of the Southwest, Inc. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized reproduction or use is strictly prohibited by law.
A superbly crafted contemporary Navajo cast-ingot “Coin-Silver” “Bangle” style bracelet by Quaid Shorty, 2023
This exceptional bracelet by young Quaid Shorty are old-style Classic-Period Navajo pieces all the way. Quaid Shorty (b.1999) is a rapidly rising up and coming superstar of contemporary Navajo silversmithing, the highly-talented son of renowned Navajo silversmith, Perry Shorty (b.1965). This beautifully designed and finely-made bracelet is a completely and painstakingly hand-crafted modern-day "Revival" of an 1880’s-1890’s Classic-Period Navajo silver "Bangle" style bracelet right down to using the exact century-old traditional Navajo silversmithing materials and methods.
The use of “Coin-silver” is a distinctly old-style Navajo silversmithing tradition which was basically revived by Quaid’s Father, Perry Shorty, in the 1990’s. The earliest Navajo silver jewelry was made from old American and/or Mexican silver coins which were melted down and cast into into ingot-silver “slugs" from which the jewelry was then formed or in very rare cases, a jewelry piece was made directly from a hammered-out coin or coins. Quaid, like his Father Perry, uses historic turn-of-the-century American “Barber” type coins; halves, quarters and dimes to make his unique “Coin-Silver” pieces.
He melts them down and in the time honored manner casts the molten silver into an ingot silver “slug”. When he is ready
to start shaping the bracelet he heats the slug to red hot and begins the painstaking process of hammering, reheating, hammering again until he gets the desired size and shape of the bracelet’s shank.
When the bracelet’s shank is the right size and shape the meticulous and detailed work of applying the decorative elements begins which in this case are many and quite complex involving numerous elaborate chisel, file and stampworked elements.
The face of this bracelet is decorated all the way around with repeating geometric designs. The end result of all this
painstaking effort is harmonious, rich and immensely satisfying to contemplate.
“It sure feel good when you wear hand-made jewelry.”
-Ambrose Roanhorse, "Leading Silversmith of The Navajo Nation"
and Founder of The Navajo Arts and Crafts Guild, 1936
Quotation from Billie Hougart, “The Little Book of Marks on Southwestern Silver”, TBR International, 2011
This bracelet is in new unworn original condition and was acquired by us recently directly from Quaid Shorty. Although essentially brand spanking right off the bench new, it already has a distinctively older-looking finish and patina from its rustic, not too slick hand-wrought techniques and the use of coin silver. Just recently made in 2023, for all intents and purposes it looks precisely as if it might have been made in 1903. This bracelet has all that great old authentic look and feel precisely because it is made from the exact same materials using the exact same techniques as the 1903 model.
You could say it’s a bit like time travel.
This bracelet measures 1/4“ in continuous width all the way around. The inner circumference end-to-end is 5 9/16“ and the gap between the terminals is 15/16“ for a total interior circumference of 6 1/2“. The bracelet weighs a very comfortable and easily wearable 18 grams or 5/8 ounce. The bracelet is properly signed "Quaid" in Quaid Shorty’s customary cursive signature and it is also marked “Coin-Silver” on the interior.
This decidedly old-style bracelet is a beautiful, distinctive-looking and easy to wear piece from the inspired mind and skilled hands of one of the finest young Native American artists working today. This lovely classically hand-crafted bracelet would be a most worthy addition to any collection, anywhere and a true joy to wear!