Mark Chee (1914-1981) Biography

Navajo artist, Mark Chee is among the earliest southwest silversmiths. He was born in Lukachukai, Arizona around 1900 and was sent to government school at Fort Defiance (a United States government practice during that time) from the age of 10 to the 11th grade. He is the elder brother of Joe Chee. 

He was active during the 1930s through ‘60s. He specialized in heavy silver in old style designs. He began polishing silver in a store in Santa Fe for $5.00 a week. He then bought a few tools and used them all his life. He was also a benchsmith for the Wooden Indian at Embudo, New Mexico.

His hallmark is a stamp of a bird with his last name in the body in Gothic print. There are several versions of this mark but rather than being a separate stamp they may be due to the angle of his strike.