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Leaf Necklace

Leaf Necklace

Artist: Dan Simplicio (Zuni, 1917 - 1969)

Department: History
Date: 1950s
Medium: Silver, turquoise
14 1/4 x 5/8 x 1/4 in. (36.2 x 1.6 x 0.6 cm)
Classification: Jewelry & Adornment
Credit Line: Albuquerque Museum, gift of the Dazzo Family
Object number: PC2003.74.2
DescriptionSilver necklace with carved turquoise leaf pendant by Dan Simplicio, 1950s, set in cut silver sheet and a foliate bezel and suspended from a silver chain. The link chain could be hand made or commercial; many Zuni silversmiths made homemade chains by winding silver wire around popsicle sticks.

Two sets of initials by C.G. Wallace are engraved into the reverse of the pendant. ("CGW"). C.G. Wallace was the owner of the De Anza Motor Lodge, C.G. Wallace Trading Post, and many other establishments in Albuquerque, Zuni, Gallup, and Cedar Point, AZ. According to Frank Dazzo (ca. 2002), Samuel may have done legal work for C.G. Wallace, obtaining this piece as partial or full payment from him. The initials "CGW" indicate that the necklace was in C.G. Wallace's private collection and was not trader inventory.
On view
Label Text:Dan Simplicio (1917-1969) served in World War II and was one of the only mid-century Zuni silversmiths working outside of the Pueblo. He was known for his elaborate "foliate" (leaf-shaped) silver bezels that often held carved turquoise and coral nuggets or carved leaves. His son, Dan Simplicio Jr., recalls that his father was very conscious of spatial organization with his leaf carvings.

The necklace was acquired by the donor's father, attorney Samuel Dazzo, in the 1940s or 1950s. Initials scratched into the reverse indicate that it was originally in the private collection of Zuni trader C.G. Wallace.

Necklace, 1940s-1950s
Dan Simplicio, Zuni, 1917-1969
Silver, turquoise
Gift of Sam Dazzo