Fred Harvey Jewelry
Fred Harvey Native American jewelry is a hot collectible! Railroad era entrepreneur Fred Harvey may be best known for the Harvey House chain of hotels and restaurants he strung along the tracks from Topeka, Kansas, across the Southwest, to Bakersfield, California. However, Harvey was also an innovative marketer who introduced travelers to inexpensive Native American-made souvenirs through his many curio shops, especially those in New Mexico. These days, lightweight Fred Harvey bracelets are quite collectible.
The new collector will find that this category of Indian curio is a mixed bag of quality, materials, and craftsmanship – which is part of the fun. Harvey bracelets were made of everything from Mexican pesos to sterling silver, copper, or nickel and stones ran the gamut from paste to top-of-the-line turquoise. Motifs included thunderbirds, arrows, Gila monsters, and lightning. To meet the demand, Harvey employed Native Americans to do bench work, and developed specialized machines to do the stamping and cutting.
How to recognize a Fred Harvey bracelet? Some of the bigger companies making bracelets for Harvey’s curio shops stamped their wares. For example, the Bell Company used a bell stamp; Silver Arrow used their name in script with an arrow running through it. Early Harvey bracelets, made from the 1910’s to the 1930’s, are often stamped “coin silver”.
-Jill Koenigsdorf - New Mexico Magazine