I inherited this piece from my Mom. I would guess she bought it in the 1980s. It has no beads in between each figure but each figure fits together like a puzzle. I’ve never seen anything like this before. The cotton thread has broken and needs to be repaired.it has a squaw wrap. So any idea on origin? Chinese turquoise? If I remove the wrapped cording in the restringing, does that reduce value or does it not matter? The figures have some nice detailed carving and several pieces have some surface texture. I’d appreciate your input.
Neat piece. I think these are referred to as “stacked” fetishes, with nothing between them like that. I think it is most often associated with imported work, but I’m sure someone else who is more of a fetish expert can weigh in. I can’t see enough of the turquoise to tell, but the closeup of the bear with the heart line looks like it might be compressed turquoise. It’s entirely possible that is it legit turquoise, possibly chinese mined. These are still neat little individual carvings with a lot of great detail and is very wearable! I think restringing would not hurt the value, because as it is now it’s not wearable. have it restrung, and enjoy it!
I’m by no means an expert on Zuni fetish necklaces; I actually find them a little intimidating to tell fakes from real ones, and there are a lot of fakes out there. But I like to refer people who ask about them to this thread, which I think has a lot of good info:
The chart in that thread is really helpful and comes from The Keshi Foundation, a reliable source. Based on the information from the chart, I would guess that this necklace is not genuine Zuni. I also agree with Jemez that it looks like it’s probably compressed turquoise.
Thank you for your response and info.
How do I differentiate compressed from natural turquoise?
Thank you for responding. I am sure compressed turquoise is less valuable than whole stone carvings. I will restring it , enjoy it and not worry about it!!!
Thank you for linking back to that thread, Orbit! I knew it was on the site somewhere. Great info!
it’s sort of a mashed together look i can’t describe, but once you see it you know what it is. basically when you have several colors or textures of turquoise, all up against each other, with no matrix, as oppose to a gentle flowing gradient of color, and possibly a sense of depth, across the whole piece. compressed always just looks like bits of numerous colors mashed together.
The carvings don’t scratch with a fingernail, don’t lose their color with acetone and my mail gets caught in the matrix. I’ve checked several of the carvings, large and small, and can’t find any “seams.” I do see what I think is an armadillo (which I have read are not in Zuni fetish).
Any other thoughts?
Thank you for the additional info. The image of the compressed stone was very helpful!!