This is a listing for a vintage Santo Domingo 3 strand turquoise necklace made in the 1950's. It's rare to find one of these necklaces and even rarer to find one in mint condition with no broken beads and it's original cotton stringing intact and secure. The turquoise is natural, high grade stone from the Sleeping Beauty mine. The beads are all hand cut, drilled, ground and polished. In addition to taking a very long time to make a necklace with this many beads, natural stone breaks easily, and an entire necklace done in natural turquoise would result in a lot of stone being lost in the process.
There are 98 tab cut beads on this piece... 33 each on two of the strands and 32 on a third strand. They have a drop of approximately 15.75 inches for a total wearing length of approximately 32 inches. That is a measurement of the shell heishi and stringing, and does not include the length of the turquoise tabs. The tabs range in size from 5/8th of an inch long by 3/8th of an inch wide (for the smallest tabs) to 1 and 1/16inches in length by.
Each bead (of the 98) is shaped differently, as they are not machine made. They are beautifully matched for color, shape and size and the beading artist did a superb job of displaying a well balanced display of so many large beads. The shell heishi measure about 3 mm across. There are hundreds of shell heishi and they were also hand rolled... Very time consuming and a process that is learned over years and passed on through families.
The fact that the beads have remained unbroken would show that it did not receive a lot of use and was obviously stored carefully for 7 decades. And last of all, the turquoise is naturally very strong... A reflection of it's high quality, one of the reasons Native American bead carvers enjoyed working with Sleeping Beauty turquoise. That, and it's remarkable beauty.
The coloring is a solid shade of pale to medium blue with a scattered limonite matrix that is off white when first mined and darkens to tan over decades accentuates the natural quality of the stone and blends perfectly with the tan and white shell heishi. A soft polish adds warmth to each bead. The cotton string is brought together from all 3 strands and just knotted at the top. Later in the century artists substituted fiber cord for the cotton, since it's stronger. But this cotton is in excellent condition and suitable for (careful) wear.Just slip it over the head. It's a stunning and rare piece that will reflect an appreciation for early Santo Domingo carving masters and American mined turquoise. The item "Vintage 1950's Santo Domingo Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Tab Shell Heishi Necklace" is in sale since Tuesday, October 27, 2020. This item is in the category "Jewelry & Watches\Ethnic, Regional & Tribal\Native American\Necklaces & Pendants". The seller is "100smr" and is located in Saint Louis, Missouri.
This item can be shipped to United States.