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Fabian Cheama carved this handsome horned lizard (horny toads in Texas!) from a beautiful, rusty colored piece of Picasso marble. The horned lizards in New Mexico are rustier in color and have more spines than the ones we have in Texas. The horned lizard is beautifully detailed with cross hatch etching on the spikey head, legs and tail and beveled cross hatching to simulate the spines all over the body. The eyes of the horned lizard are inlaid of Sleeping Beauty turquoise and Fabian has signed the piece on the belly: "Fabian Cheama, Zuni, N. Mex."
When we began collecting in the mid 1990's, the Cheama family was front and center with their spectacular carvings. Dan Quam is credited with the innovation of realistic carving in the early 1980's, and, as Fabian's half brother, it was he who introduced this style to the rest of the family. Wilfred, Lance & Fabian shared their acquired knowledge and skill with their wives and for a time the Cheama family dominated the carving scene, winning many show awards.
We don't see as many Cheama carvings today, and this particular one, along with most in this showing, comes to us from an estate. It is not dated but we suspect it was carved in the 90's. Truly, it is a beautiful example of the quality of work that was coming from Zuni in the post-internet revival sparked by the article in the Wall Street Journal.
Zuni Carver: Fabian Cheama
Dimensions: 2 3/8"L x 7/8"T x 1 11/16"W
Signed: Fabian Cheama, Zuni, NM
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Plus state sales tax to Texas residents!
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