This vintage multi-strand heishi necklace is stunning on! It is made of bright white shell, the 15 strands topped with brass barrel -shaped cones and heavy hook and eye closure. The piece is the creation of award-winning New Mexico Hispanic artist Ralph Sena (1943- ), honored in 2011 with a "Lifetime Achievement" award by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. From the New Mexico Museum Foundation website: "Ralph Anthony Sena comes from a long line of blacksmiths, which explains why he feels metalwork is 'in his blood'. Sena's knowledge and experience as a master jeweler derives from many hours spent watching and interacting with Native American artisans and other local jewelers, which has influenced his style. Ralph holds himself to the highest standards of workmanship and the stones and materials he uses are of the highest quality. He works mostly in sterling silver using the techniques of forging and repoussé to manipulate the metal to showcase a precious or semi-precious stone. His jewelry ranges from traditional filigree to unique contemporary designs." Ralph Sena's knowledge of jewelry-making is extensive. He is best known for traditions passed down from his grandfather and originating with the Spaniards who brought silversmithing to Mexico and what is now the Southwestern United States. Yet, his heishi-making skills are amazing, especially when you consider how heishi beads are made. The artist slices stone or shell into uniform strips, then nips pieces into small squares. Each square has a hole drilled in it, then the squares are strung on twine, each grouping worked to produce uniform size. The strings of squares are smoothed and rounded and eventually rolled into beads. A string of good heishi will have a uniform consistency, as these ones do, so that if you gently pull it through your hand, it feels smooth and serpent-like. Only an extremely skilled and patient craftsperson can create heishi like this, and Sena is exactly that type of artist, his works in museums and galleries. I sell a lot of heishi, but this necklace is a showstopper, and the white color is so versatile, from being the main jewelry attraction (other than the wedding ring) for a bride who loves the Southwest, to pairing with coral and lapis for a red-white-and-blue look, to layering with turquoise and spiny oyster. It is absolutely versatile but, in my opinion, most gorgeous when worn as the only necklace and paired with White Buffalo.
This multi-strand necklace measures about 25" end to end, and the strands are intertwined. Total weight is 100g. Carries the artist hallmark on the cone tops. In excellent condition.
Uncommon, elegant, beyond beautiful.
Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.
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1-2 business days
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