by Bennett Owen
What started out as this…
West Y Trading Post Gallup, New Mexico circa 1940′s. Image courtesy of Waddell Trading Co.
Is now this…
Interior of Waddell Trading Company. Image courtesy of Waddell Trading Co.
A family-owned success story spanning three generations, the humble 1940s trading post in Gallup, New Mexico has evolved into the Waddell Trading Company of Scottsdale, Arizona, source of the most marvelous and innovative array of collector quality Hopi and Navajo art and jewelry available. Waddell is the sole representative of the incomparable Lee Yazzie, considered to be among the finest contemporary Navaho designers.
14k Gold Turquoise and Coral Inlayed Ring, Artist: Lee Yazzie; Tufa Cast Coral Bracelet, Artist: Andrew Alvarez
Monument Valley Inlayed Bracelet, Artist: Alvin Yellowhorse; Sterling Silver 6 Strand Ring, Artist: James Bahe
Mediterranean Coral Necklace, Artist: Kee Nez; Overlay Hopi Village Bracelet, Artist: Victor Coochwytewa
Look at the forearms on those guys. They’re miners, not designers.
Mike Waddell, Natalie Waddell, Ann Waddell, Gene Waddell, Lisa Waddell, and Erik Van Itallie. Image courtesy of Waddell Trading Co.
The turquoise has to come from somewhere. And that somewhere is their mine near Tonapah, Nevada. Amazing how such delicate beauty is born on the blade of a D-8 Cat.
Dragonfly Bracelet, Artist: Cody Sanderson; Lone Mountain Turquoise Cross Necklace, Artist: Joe Piaso Jr.
A selection of the finest Waddell products will be on display at the Autry Museum Jewelry Trunk Show (see also here) in Los Angeles starting February 5. The official title: Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale Weekend.
Coral Flower Pin/Pendant, Artist: Joe Piaso Jr.; Sterling Silver Inlayed Bracelet, Artist: Gibson Nez
It’s billed as “the country’s most important Western art show.”