I just finished some major shopping. I attended an antique show over the weekend and visited with a favorite picker on Monday. It was hard work and the competition was fierce...but I came home with a satchel filled with turquoise & sterling silver jewelry.
Tonight I will begin to add it all to my website. I am starting with the 9 pieces of Fred Harvey era silver. There are 7 bracelets, one bar pin and a hair barrette.
"Fred Harvey Era" is in reference to the many Indian souvenir shops that were placed at train stations so that the tourists could buy themselves Indian jewelry as they traveled through the Southwest. "Fred Harvey" has kind of become a flea market term to define all tourist pieces from this time period with no mind to actual company of manufacture be it Bell Trading Post, Silver Arrow or another.
These tourist pieces were lighter in weight and usually heavily stamped with Indian themed designs. The idea was to keep prices affordable with less silver and time put into making the pieces. Often times the trading post shops gave templates to the Indian artists.
There was a shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico called Maisel's Trading post. They had an on-site workshop with a big picture window. In the workshop were Native American silversmiths creating jewelry and the tourist could watch the "real Indians" making jewelry.
I am always thrilled to find these pieces for they are highly collected and prized today. Collectors love to wear many "Fred Harvey" bracelets on their arms "stacked". Due to their lighter weight, this fashion can be worn comfortably.
These pieces are best kept in original patina and tarnish. It can greatly devalue them as a collectible if you polish one of these pieces. If you love your silver with a high shine, you might be better off with a brand new piece. The vintage is best worn in it's glorious patina even if it is kind of grungy and rustic.
Here are the pieces that I will be releasing tonight. If you want to see more you can view them here.
This is only the beginning of the wonderful things that I found. I will release pieces every night for about the next two weeks...at least!
Here's more of my great finds!