A John Winston mother-of-pearl bolo

(20th/21st Century, American)
Signed, dated, and inscribed on verso: "Eagle Spirit from the Sky" / 1 of 1 / Winston / '1994'
Depicting a richly detailed relief-carved eagle's head bolo suspended by a detachable black and brown leather triple cord strap, with carved feather enhanced tips and silver ferrules
Bolo: 5.5" H x 6.25" W; Tips: 2.75" L; Cord: 25" L
436.1 grams

  • Notes: Artist John Winston is widely known as a master carver of turquoise and other gemstones, creating unique and desirable hand-carved pieces of jewelry both large and small.

    Often depicting Native Americans and western wildlife, Winston's work utilizes raw turquoise, mother-of-pearl, and other gemstones and minerals, and is inspired by the natural world as well as artists such as Erté and Georgia O'Keefe. The subject and message of each piece is important, and each one is different, found in the form of either a hand engraved poem, a story, and/or the title of the work on reverse, often including the carat weight of gemstones, his signature and date of creation.

    His one-of-a-kind pieces highlight his evolving skills in gemstone carving honed over years of work, starting at age 12. His self-taught skills in metalsmithing also developed to ensure consistently high-quality jewelry. He hails from a family of artists, with sculpture and drawing influences from mother and grandmother, and gemstone cutting initially learned from a father who came from four generations of lapidarists. As a self-taught artist, time spent in the welcoming artist community in Laguna Beach, California gave Winston inspiration and strengthened his "knowledge of craft and love for the arts."

    Winston's ambitious and striking jewelry such as bolo ties, necklaces and belt buckles not only showcase constantly evolving skills and love of the craft, but also the importance of subjects, materials and details of production. The creation of stunning designs in rich detail seems natural for him, known for "big ideas and big dreams." The resulting works are certainly precious enough to become family heirlooms, but with the aim to be worn by the owner, not just displayed on a shelf.

    "My goal as an artist is to carve large gemstone sculptures that will be discovered some 10,000 years from now creating great interest in what our generation was really about." John Winston
  • Condition: Overall good condition with light tarnishing and scratches commensurate with age and wear. Some residue on shell carving. Light wear to leather cords.

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November 30, 2021 10:00 AM PST
Monrovia, CA, US

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