Featured Questions about a Santo Domingo? Pendant

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by Joan, Dec 1, 2023.

  1. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Before I posted this I searched "Santo Domingo" on this forum and found a thread from 2016 that may have answered my main question about this pendant.
    PipestoneTurquoiseMosaicPendant-1s.jpg PipestoneTurquoiseMosaicPendant-2.jpg PipestoneTurquoiseMosaicPendant-3.jpg PipestoneTurquoiseMosaicPendant-4.jpg

    Based on this thread: https://www.antiquers.com/threads/q...ace-native-american-antique.7448/#post-107127,
    and some other research, it seems like my pendant could be a 1930's or Depression-era to 1950's Santo Domingo pendant.

    However, the pendants I found online seemed to all have the entire shell as the backing for the mosaic. Here's one example:

    I found one pendant in the shape of mine, but more refined, that was called a Zuni pendant.

    I don't think any of the Santo Domingo examples I saw had metal strips between the mosaic areas (like mine), but Zuni pieces did. The mosaic pieces on mine look like turquoise, pipestone, serpentine, shell, and the little black piece I don't know--maybe from a vinyl record, as mentioned online.

    I realize eBay titles are not reliable, so I'm wondering if anyone on this forum can tell me if my pendant is Santo Domingo or Zuni. I understand I'd have to call it Southwestern if selling it online.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2023
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  2. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    I'm no help...but sure like the whole-shell overlay, an' the Zuni piece...very high craft, both of them!
    judy, laura9797, Lucille.b and 2 others like this.
  3. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    When I hear Santo Domingo I automatically think Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Not sure how that relates, but I honesly don't see any NA in the OP's piece.
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  4. stracci

    stracci Well-Known Member

    As an aside, the Pueblo officially changed their name back to Kewa Pueblo in 2009, which was their original name before the Spanish invaders changed it.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2023
  5. laura9797

    laura9797 Well-Known Member

    I love micro mosaic works! So difficult and labor intensive.
    wlwhittier, judy and Joan like this.
  6. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you, stracci, for mentioning the name change. I read that in my research but didn't think to search Kewa jewelry. I searched Google images and eBay this morning and found lots of examples of necklaces with pendants, but none like mine.

    I decided to search Kewa pottery and found an antique water jar in a design that's kind of similar with the red interior and bottom section, and the triangle/star shapes in the middle. https://www.artblackburn.com/pottery/p/amazing-kewa-water-jar
    I also found information that makes me think my pendant is 1920's-50's Kewa (Santo Domingo) and not Zuni. The "glue" looks like pine pitch. Anyway, definitely not black epoxy glue that's used on newer pieces (it looks kind of black in the photos, but it's not--maybe it's the type of musilage glue that I used in school during the 1950s, in a glass bottle with a rubber tip--LePage I think).

    I used a magnifying glass for a close look at the little black piece in the center, and can't tell for sure what it is--the whole mosaic seems to be coated with something.

    Here's a quote from:
    https://nativeamericanjewelrytips.w...ric people used lac or,or roots of pine trees.

    "This tradition of mosaic inlay on shells is associated with Santo Domingo (Kewa) Pueblo of New Mexico. From the Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry (Paula Baxter) “Between 1920 and 1950, not all Santo Domingo jewelry making was of good quality and pieces from this period betray inventive uses of substitute materials – especially when the traditional materials were not available (such as using pieces of phonograph records or automotive battery cases in place of jet or onyx).” The contemporary revival of the art form is mainly due to Angie Reano Owen. Santo Domingo artists Mary Coriz Lovato and Jolene Bird also makes mosaic inlay on large shells. Today the main difference is that black epoxy glue is now used instead of pine pitch." This quote is in the "Research Material" about halfway down the page if anyone is interested.

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  7. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    Interesting piece. IMO it’s SD and vintage. No one is knocking pipestone, turq and serpentine chip work on clam. The banding is throwing me too but IMO it’s not a deal breaker.
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  8. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you, reader, I appreciate your comments.
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  9. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    More “NON info” Take it with a grain…
    1.IF i were selling it I’d have no issue selling it as Vintage Southwestern Chip Inlay Pendant. I believe it is clam shell but I’d need it in hand. I believe it’s turquoise, Serpentine and Pipestone.

    2. I believe it’s NA. I think it’s SD but not 100% as that banding is weird to me too and atypical of the work I’m familiar with.

    3. I showed pics to two sales associates in an NA store in an NA museum that sells both contemporary and vintage. They both thought it was SD. I meant to show it to Perry Null as well but honestly forgot when I was in there.

    4. I showed pics to a personal friend who is a retired director of an NA museum. They did NOT think it was SD.

    Please update if you get more info. I’ve looked at so much chip inlay work over the decades and to me your piece has some multi NA influences.That banding to me is more Zuni than SD as is the shape but the chip work is more SD. I dunno. I only think it’s an issue if YOU want to know and are interested in doing more research. Again, if selling, SOUTHWESTERN is totally safe but if you get more info please post.

    BTW on another thread I said I’d post my result with a Perry Null repair. It’s complicated as it’s not a repair per se, it’s a fabrication for a missing element on a belt. It was done off pictures and measurements but it came out too big and doesn’t work. This time I left the actual piece with them so I’ll post after I get it back but what they made was terrific and came very close with the stamping-it would have worked had it not been too big. With the piece in hand I expect it to come out great.
  10. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    @reader, I so appreciate your opinions on this pendant, and the time you spent to get other opinions from different sources.

    I probably won't be doing any further research, at least for now, since I don't know where else to search. I'm not a serious collector of NA jewelry--I've just bought various pieces at thrift stores, estate sales, etc. and have them in a tray that I've been working on documenting for future selling (if not by me, by my daughter). I printed out your information to keep with the pendant.

    Before I bought the pendant, I looked at it for quite a while trying to decide if it was a junk craft project, or something old with real turquoise, and decided it was worth $1.99 if only for a learning experience.

    I wasn't even aware that pipestone(Catlinite) is an actual stone and was/is used in NA jewelry. I'd heard of Pipestone, Minnesota (in my neighboring state), but hadn't heard of the Pipestone National Monument, or that the pipestone quarry has been a sacred gathering place for Native nations from all over North America.

    I originally thought the back of the pendant was maybe hard plastic or bone, but it has a stone or shell sound when I tap it against my teeth.

    I had not heard of Perry Null (and didn't remember seeing the name in your other post), so I looked at their website. Also found it interesting to read about the repair/fabrication they are doing for you, and will look forward to seeing the results.

    I have a Delbert Gordon pendant that's missing a large stone and would like opinions on what to do about it, but will post later in a separate thread. Thank you again, for all your help with the pendant.
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  11. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    @reader, I was researching something else and found more examples of Santo Domingo jewelry, including this piece. I noticed it has silver banding more like Zuni pieces, but is identified as "Santo Domingo (Kewa) Multi-Stone Inlay Shell Pendant with Removable Wooden Accent c. 1940-50s, 3.875" x 3.5"."
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  12. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    yup, Santo Domingo shell jewelry is well know and documented....
    lisamerlot, Joan and Any Jewelry like this.
  13. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    I appreciate your comment, komokwa. I’m curious to know if you think my water jar pendant is Santo Domingo (I realize I would have to call it Southwestern if selling it). The reason I posted it is because I couldn’t find anything in that shape and with banding after using Google Lens and looking at hundreds of examples of SD chip/mosaic inlay jewelry.

    Reader thinks it is SD, but said it's atypical of the work reader is familiar with because of the banding. Reader showed my photos to three people who had differing opinions: a retired director of an NA museum did not think it’s SD, and two sales associates in an NA store in an NA museum did think it’s SD.

    So, the photo above from medicinemangallery.com is the only example of old SD shell jewelry I’ve seen that has metal banding (silver vs brass on my pendant). I did, however, see examples of contemporary SD jewelry that has silver banding on medicinemangallery.com, but nothing in a vessel shape.

    My knowledge of NA jewelry is limited to what I’ve read and seen on Antiquers.com and other websites, and from examining pieces I’ve bought in the past at thrift stores and estate and garage sales, some of which I didn’t realize at the time were NA. I’ll be posting a few more pieces in a separate thread that I have questions on.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2023
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  14. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    Good enough for me. Medicine Man is totally legit.
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  15. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I don't know what else it could be......
    Figtree3, reader and Joan like this.
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