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Necklace with Antler Tips

ca. 1975 Weldon Merchant Born: Mississippi, 1949 silver, deer antler, and leather height x length: 2 1/2 x 25 3/8 in. (6.5 x 64.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1975.157 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

The materials in Necklace with Antler Tips refer to Weldon Merchant’s experiences growing up in rural Mississippi and his interest in Native American history and artifacts. Merchant constructed this piece from ten antler tips of various sizes and separated them with carved silver beads. The clasp is made of two more antler tips capped with a hook-and-eye fastener. The silver shows Merchant’s familiarity with the blacksmithing traditions of settlers, while the antler tips may allude to hunting as a means of survival among Native Americans.


decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal

animal parts - horn

animal parts - leather

metal - silver

About Weldon Merchant

Born: Mississippi, 1949