Old Pawn Navajo Bolo Ties and Native American jewelry

Vintage NAVAJO BISON BUFFALOThe term "old pawn" refers to Native American jewelry and art that was formerly pawned or traded during earlier eras and has become vintage or antique. This notably applies to Navajo bolo ties that date from around the late 19th century to the mid 20th century.

Old pawn Native American jewelry has an intriguing history. In times of hardship tribes would trade or pawn handmade items like silver and turquoise jewelries at trading posts in exchange for goods or money. These high quality pieces would then sit "on pawn" at shops, unsold for long periods until a sale was made. Decades later, collectors prize these vintage items not only for their age but as artifacts from the history of Native tribes.

In the context of Navajo bolo ties, those with markings like "VTG" or underside stamps dating from the 1920s-1940s indicate true "old pawn" artifacts. Tiny hallmarks also verify silversmiths from tribe member clans. Classic designs in sterling silver or incorporating aged turquoise signify ties styled by early Navajo shamans and artisans. With this deep culture, wear and patina, authentic old pawn Navajo bolos reflect enduring Southwestern Native craftsmanship and have an irresistible appeal, creating high demand from knowledgeable collectors.

One interesting aspect is how old pawn Navajo ties allow a tangible connection back to Native history. Many vintage models feature traditional imagery like horses, bears, wolves, kokopelli figures, and thunderbird symbols that carry deeper spiritual meaning related to Southwestern tribes. The silverwork styles also harken back to techniques passed down through generations. Collectors prize these historical touches along with the rich patinas.

Additionally, there is variability that makes searching for old pawn Navajo jewelry exciting for enthusiasts. From the stampings confirming tribal silversmith clans like Begay, Cadman, or Leekya, to varying details in motif designs, each vintage bolo tie presents its own distinct character. The marks left by history only enhance their charm. Finding one still in excellent condition makes the piece more special.

There is also the allure of honoring a resilient culture by preserving important handicraft heritage through old pawn jewelry collecting. The tarnished silver and blue-green hues of aged turquoise seem to capture the passage of time itself. When combined with traditional symbols in classic patterns, this creates alluring nostalgia. For appreciators of Native artistry, owning a verified vintage old pawn Navajo bolo allows them to gain a direct connection to the Southwest's past lifeways and respectfully maintain some of that legacy.

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Old Pawn Navajo Bolo Ties


References

Navajo Code Talkers - History of Navajo People
Indigenous People - Navajo History
History.com - Navajo Nation History
Navajo People - Comprehensive Navajo History
Archaeology Southwest - Navajo Archaeological History