Here's a classic vintage southwestern copper and turquoise necklace, made by the famous Bell Trading Post of ABQ, New Mexico for the tourist trade, circa the 1950's-1960's. The main pendant measures 2-3/8 inch by 1-5/8 inches and weighs about 15 grams. Including the 29 inch copper chain, the entire necklace weighs about 34 grams. Hallmarked SOLID COPPER and the image of the Bell Trading post sign. These necklaces were VERY POPULAR with the tourists back in the heyday of Route 66 and are considered very collectible Route 66 memorabilia today.
The Bell Trading Post was founded in 1935 by Jack Michelson in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was named "Bell" because Jack's wife Mildred's maiden name was Bell. Coincidentally my maiden name is also Bell, hence my interest in Bell jewelry. The name was changed to Sunbell Corp. in 1972. It produced quality tourist/Fred Harvey era pieces made by Native Americans. From Billie Hougart's hallmark book: "Early production focused on handmade jewelry, but post--WWII production shifted to quality tourist items presented as Southwestern in their advertisements". The majority of jewelry made was made from sterling silver, turquoise and copper. The Bell Trading Post went out of business in the late 1980's. The hallmarks are an image of a bell and a bell hanging from a post. The hallmark on this pendant is the bell hanging from a post with the words SOLID COPPER beneath.
More Bell Copper Route 66 jewelry is available on our website! See the last photo.