Here's a very unusual, dead pawn, "Warrior Chief" chess piece that was handmade by the well known Zuni fetish carver Delbert Cachini.
This Chief was originally part of a complete, handmade, chess set that we've been watching at a well known pawn shop for the past several months. We were interested in the entire set but it's cost made it prohibitive for us to buy.
So, after some gentle "arm twisting", we finally convinced the pawn shop to break up the set and sell each piece individually. Naturally, we chose to buy the Warrior Chief first as it was the most important piece in the set.
Delbert carved the Chief from a piece of antler and he inlaid several small pieces of turquoise as the Chief's eyes and nose, and as decorations on his headdress and clothing.
The Chief stands 2+1/2" tall and weighs 15.5 grams. The diameter at the top of the headdress is 3/4" and the diameter of the base is 1/2".
Although this is a dead pawn item it is actually brand new. Unfortunately it's not unusual to find new items available for sale in pawn shops these days because the bad economy has hurt many of the Indian artists quite severely. These very talented artists are being forced to pawn their new pieces of art to obtain money to put food on their family's table because the retail stores they usually sell to are not buying as much as they previously did.
This wonderful example of genuine, handmade, Native American art will certainly make a terrific addition to anyone's art collection. You can be fairly sure that nobody else will have one just like this because the pawn shop (who has known Delbert for many years) said it's the only chess set that they have ever seen him make.
Peace . . . JJ & Eddie