A Spiny Oyster Shell Pendant With Inlaid Turquoise

Item: 1649

Origin: Pueblo/Ancestral Pueblo
Date: Historic – unknown age

Media: Spiny oyster, turquoise, glass beads, silver bench beads

Dimensions: 18.5″ overall, shell is 2″ by 2 1/8″

Description: Here is another rare  spiny oyster shell pendant inlaid with turquoise.  It hangs on a more recent (early 20th century?) necklace of well aged cylinder glass red beads and silver bench beads. It has all been restrung onto a metal wire.  The bench beads all seem to vary, like they were gathered together from different sources.  The necklace is joined together by a clasp.

The shell is exceptional.  Four windows of turquoise, comprised of 4 pieces each, are inlaid into the shell.  They show much wear and are assumed to have been on there since at least the 19th century if not earlier. The shell looks to be prehistoric with the wear to it, and is likely a piece that came out of the Hohokam culture. The indent on the front of the shell on one side is not a chip to the shell, but the original edge to the shell.  A piece of hide is tied to a font hole on the shell and holds a small green turquoise tab. At the top hole, hide is used to attach the shell to the wire.  I imagine that these two hide pieces were added when the necklace was created.

Condition:  Condition is original without restoration.

Price: 2250

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