Turquoise cluster bracelet by famed Zuni silversmith, Dan Simplicio. Although unsigned, this bracelet has the earmarks of Simplicio’s work, notably the single cast loop bracelet shank and the curved, coiled and stamped elements.
Dan Simplicio (1917-1969) learned the art of jewelry making from his uncle, Juan DeDios, one of the earliest Zuni silversmiths. Dan worked at C.G. Wallace’s trading post and ultimately Wallace became one of the biggest Simplicio collectors. He used branch coral it its natural form, which was unheard of during this time period. He innovated the natural coral and turquoise style of jewelry while simultaneously excelling with his silver work. He was also a master of inlay, which he did only in his formative years of which we have few examples of today. Simplicio worked with silver in a very interesting way, a way that his son credits to his time overseas in WWII. He was influenced by the French, German and Italian use of leaf patterns. It is this leaf work that sets Simplicio’s pieces apart from traditional Zuni work.