Zuni cluster-work Turquoise necklace

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by kdj, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. kdj

    kdj Member

    Hello Everyone,

    I have what I've been told, is a Zuni cluster-work necklace, Turquoise and Silver, hand-made, that each bezel is serrated by hand, dating it to 1940’s to 1950’s.
    It is a simple piece compared to hundreds of images I saw. It is somewhat crudely made as well. It is 14.5 in. long. The clusters are all 1/2 in.
    I would like to get an idea of value to sell it.
    If anyone can give an opinion on this necklace, I will greatly appreciate it. It is missing one stone. (It is here somewhere...)
    Thank you!
    t3.jpg IMG_0957.jpt1g.jpg t5.jpg t7.jpg
     
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  2. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    Wonder if it was made in Mexico.
    Seems to me in the 1960s there was quite a bit of turquoise jewelry that came from Mexico for the tourist trade.
    I could be wrong. Wait for other comments.

    Also, I find it interesting that there are two pieces of green turquoise pieces while everything else is blue.
     
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  3. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    No one can identify the piece as Zuni unless they have a receipt from the Zuni maker or the piece has an identified maker's mark. It could be called southwest/Zuni style,but without proof of maker it can't be called Zuni according the the law.
     
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  4. kdj

    kdj Member

    Thank you. I see no maker marks on this. I wonder if value then has to be based on the silver and the turquoise?
     
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  5. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

     
  6. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    That was bizarre-my post disappeared. Anyway, I believe it’s exactly what the OP was told. Looks like vintage NA to me and agree it cannot be listed as such but I don’t see that as an issue. Vintage Silver Turquoise Cluster Necklace brings up similar so the OP can check comps and also look at closed auctions for true selling prices. Most list NA pieces that are either unsigned or identified as Southwestern Vintage etc...

    In my own experience it’s really rare to find unsigned Mexican silver.

    I wouldn’t worry about the missing stone which certainly doesn’t help value but as already stated you’ve got others that were replacements or poorly matched to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  7. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    IMO it’s a charming piece but it is not of significant value because of the missing and unmatched stones and general quality. On the good side, it’s definitely of age. I do think it’s lovely and a perfect piece for a budget conscious collector. The fact that it’s unsigned is not an issue. Few NA pieces were signed before the 70s in my experience.
     
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  8. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    @reader

    Sorry to say but you probably couldn't tell unmarked NA jewelry from hobbyist made.Many so called experts have been wrong in the past and the quality of the OP's necklace is lacking.
     
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  9. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    I agree to a point but I do personally think it is NA from a lifetime of owning NA work and living in the SW. It’s a moot point anyway as already stated by you, it can’t be listed as NA. As far as quality goes, I’ve seen the best and the worst. Not every NA is an artist even if they make a piece of jewelry and yes it could be a hobbyist piece but I usually think horses when hearing thundering hooves as opposed to zebras and my gut feeling is that this is a horse. Again, it doesn’t matter as long as the OP doesn’t sell it as anything other than Southwestern.
     
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  10. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

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  11. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    With respect Hollyblue (and I know that you are a very knowledgeable and talented jeweler) I’m very aware of all the NA forgery issues ( and glad that many of those slimes have been busted)and yes, I’m pretty sure that I actually have no forgeries in my collection but realize that the possibility always exists.
     
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  12. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    Interesting that you brought this up. I just recently saw a group of Asian fake NA pieces. Guessing they were Indonesian. They were very well executed IMO but there was something just wrong/off about them. I knew immediately.
     
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  13. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It is a lovely necklace, kdj.
    Hand serrated bezels are also seen on later Zuni and SW jewellery, but the necklace looks 1950s to me.
    If you still have the stone, you can put it back in by gently pushing the serrated part out, and back in after you've put in the stone. Always be gentle with the silver, and use a cloth to protect it if you feel you need to use pliers etc.
    If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, have a skilled person do it. Make sure they don't overpolish it after. No need for that at all. I would recommend a regular clean to remove tarnish and dirt, which you can do yourself.
    That is often seen in older Zuni pieces.
    Most are made in the Philppines, although Thailand and Turkey have also been manufacturing fake SW NA jewellery for some time.
    The Turkish replica jewellery industry is expanding, and pieces made as replicas are not marked as such. So they end up in the fakes circuit. They manufacture different styles, whatever sells. I see more and more Turkish made 'antique Yemenite' and 'antique Uzbek' as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  14. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    It is frightening and I do believe that anyone can be duped ( if the major art museums of the world can be taken, so can any of us) but I also think that in this case the OP has an authentic, if not well executed piece and for anyone who checks images of vintage NA jewelry they’ll find tons of clusters of mixed colors as AJ said. In my experience, when only one or two stones are off, they’re probably a replacement but when few match as in this piece (it’s not just two as someone posted), the piece was made that way.

    So much vintage NA work was done on a shoestring by really financially struggling people who used whatever stones they could get their hands on at an affordable price when using matching stones wasn’t a viable option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  15. kdj

    kdj Member

    Thank you to everyone giving advice. Trying to keep up with the experts terminology here. NA is Native American but what is OP ? I guess I am the OP ? I hope that's a good thing -
    thanks for the article link Hollyblue. That was an eye-opener.
    If it helps at all, I have had this necklace for about 40 years. It would have been an estate sale purchase back then -
    and no information came with it. I am in Minnesota which tells nothing (I have a few things bought at estate sales that never originated here.)
     
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  16. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

    OP original poster. (Yes, you :))
     
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