Mitchell Sockyma


#1

I have a buckle that I believe was made by Mitchell Sockyma, Hopi artist. It has his turtle mark on the back, but I don’t see the MS initials I see on current pieces. Has he always used his initials? It does have the daisy inside the turtle. It is an exact match to Mitchell Sockymas’s hallmark. I wanted to make sure this was authentic. I also took this by Mac’s Indian Jewelry, and he told me he is confident it is authentic. Any idea of value? Thank you for your help


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#2

This website (a really helpful one) shows just the turtle for Mitchell Sockyma:
http://www.art-amerindien.com/signature_picto-hallmarks.htm

Also, Barton Wright’s Hallmarks of the Southwest says: “Stamped image of a turtle first used in 1975. Later switched to misaligned initials, very similar to his brother’s mark” (Michael Sockyma.)

I would take this to mean that the image of a turtle alone could indicate an earlier piece than the pieces with both the turtle and the initials MS. According to Margaret Wright’s book Hopi Silver, Mitchell Sockyma began silver work in 1972.

Your second photo of the back of the buckle is hard to see, but Mitchell’s turtle has a symbol inside that looks rather like a daisy, or six dots surrounding a central dot. Just mentioning this as there are several other Hopi artists who use a turtle hallmark, and you can verify that your turtle hallmark matches the Sockyma turtle by visiting the above website, if you’re not sure.