This layered five-strand bird fetish necklace came to me from the estate of a Midwestern woman--she would have been 102 if alive today--who sold and collected Native American jewelry, and we estimate the piece to be from the late 1980s to early 1990s. The necklace consists of 127 carved birds, the types of which vary from long and slender to short and small. The necklace has cascading strands, achieved by making each strand slightly shorter than the one next to it, so that when worn the necklace lays in elegant layers. The shortest strand has 20 fetishes, the next one 22, the next 24, the next 29, and the last 32. This is an heirloom piece, not only because it is carved from coral--and today you would be hard pressed to find any Native American working in coral fetish necklaces--but also when you consider the skill and time that went into carving each bird, as well as in making the coral heishi beads strung between the birds. Everything about this necklace is masterful and unusual. I cannot confirm the artist--Lavinia Tsikewa made a multi-strand coral fetish necklace featured in Oscar Branson's book Fetishes and Carvings from the Southwest, and more recently Rosita Kaamasee and her niece are both known for carving coral fetish necklaces. I've sold pieces from Rosita and from Tsikewa's father and sister. We can't confirm either artist, but we do know based on information provided by the previous owner's daughter that this cascading necklace is Zuni made.
The necklace has five strands graduated in length, the shortest is 25" long from clasp to clasp, with the longest closer to 32" long taking a tape measure along the entire length. When worn, the layers have a hang length of about 9" for the shortest and 14" for the longest, accounting for the curve of the neck. The bird carvings are not graduated in size although they do vary in size, being between about 1/2" to 1" wide. I looked closely at all the fetishes--some of the birds are quite small and at first glance may seem to have a tip broken--but they are in fact just small with tail and beak intact. That said, even though I did not notice any missing tips, there may be one or two missing, although if so they blend in versus standing out. Total weight is 91g.
For the person looking for one-of-a-kind Zuni fetishes and jewelry.
Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.
For More Native Necklaces, Pendants, and Pins: http://bit.ly/2ESs4Tf
Native American Earrings: http://bit.ly/2FyZ8wy
Native American Rings: http://bit.ly/2HQXwyY
Native Bracelets and Watches: https://bit.ly/2NpeypL
Native Belts and Bolos: http://bit.ly/2oz2XKp
All items: https://romaarellano.com
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We get correspondance almost daily asking how much certain items are worth or what the price was of items that have sold, and we can no longer respond to these messages.