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Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic (14)

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Native American (8)

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Far Eastern (2)


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Delightful 4 Strand Vintage Bird Fetish Heishi Necklace

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1980   item# 1008333

Delightful 4 Strand Vintage Bird Fetish Heishi Necklace
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$130
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& Gift-Wrap, if Desired) 

Southwestern jewelry is outside my specialization and frankly I'm a bit tired of it, after living in New Mexico for so many years. However, I can still be impressed now and then by a piece from the neighborhood (Rio Grande pueblo country).

This necklace is one of those pieces. It dates from the 1970s, when overall quality really was better. Wonderful work continues to be done, of course, but mainly at the upper end of the market. What makes this so special is that such skill was applied to shell materials, as opposed to costlier stones like turquoise.

There's an amazing profusion of fetishes here, far more than I have the patience to count. Mainly they're birds, but a few turtles, fish and pink bears were thrown in for fun. All the creatures and heishi beads were carved from shimmering mother-of-pearl and other shells and shell linings. Hand-crafted and fully silver-strung, the strands finish with hollow silver beads and a barrel screw-clasp. Quite a lot of age patina is on the silver now -- which, in deference to the purists among us, I haven't polished. You can easily achieve a brighter look, if that's what you prefer.

At its longest, the necklace measures 26 inches; it's in lovely condition, as you see; and its provenance is a Georgia collection. The original owner remembers buying it at either the Santo Domingo or Cochiti pueblo, both in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping (with an equivalent discount on international delivery) and gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Antique Silver Dangle Earrings Exotic Asian Tribal

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Far Eastern: Pre 1930   item# 611878

Antique Silver Dangle Earrings Exotic Asian Tribal
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$80 SALE (Reduced from $95)

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& Gift-Wrap if Desired 

If you enjoy exotic jewelry, you'll love these hand-made silver earrings. Two inches long, they're highly decorative -- combining stamped, cast, hammered, soldered & wire wrap details. Even the ear wires are hand-drawn.

Exact metal content is uncertain. Several small spots seem to reveal another metal, but may simply reflect the vagaries of coin silver, which was always an alloy. Provenance is an estate in New Mexico, where unusual jewelry has always been an element of high style. Condition is quite good, relative to age. These are definitely very old. I don't know enough about Asian jewelry to date them with precision (or identify the ethnic origin) so, if you help with that, please let me know. I'm calling them pre-1930, but they may well be 19th century.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Vintage Carved Onyx Bear Fetish Necklace Earrings Set

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1980   item# 1114503

Vintage Carved Onyx Bear Fetish Necklace Earrings Set
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$185 SALE. Was $235.
(Free U.S. Priority Shipping
& Gift-Wrap, if Desired) 

This is one of the most charming fetish jewelry sets I've ever seen -- and I've seen plenty of them, having lived in New Mexico off and on since the mid-1970s. These bear fetishes are absolutely adorable; they're also unusually large, ranging up to 2 inches long. Nine bears are present altogether, seven on the necklace and one on each earring. Carved from black onyx, they're very hard to photograph, but there's a lot of detail. Between bears are heishi beads carved from both onyx and turquoise.

The 28-inch necklace finishes with a sterling hook and eye closure and the earrings, 2.75 inches long, have sterling ball and post fasteners. Condition of the set is lovely; you have to search with high magnification to find any surface wear at all. Obviously treasured by their former owner and stored with great care, these pieces reached us from an estate in Kansas. We were told that the prior owner purchased them in the 1970s, so they could older than that but no younger.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping (with an equivalent discount on international delivery) and gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



New Mexican Hand-Crafted Vintage Turtle Earrings

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1980   item# 628039

New Mexican Hand-Crafted Vintage Turtle Earrings
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$45
Free Insured U.S. Shipping
(& Gift-Wrap if Desired) 

In Pueblo Indian symbology here in the Southwest, Turtle is a very significant figure -- a particular annoyance to Coyote, because Turtle is impervious to his tricks. In fact, Turtle is even able to defy death. As such, he stands for long life, as well as strength and perseverance. Perhaps I should say "she," instead of "he," since the Turtle fetish is associated with feminine power.

Besides bringing you all these worthy attributes, our turtle earrings are pure delight with their wonderfully whimsical shapes (each a little different, which testifies to hand-craftsmanship). They appear to be fashioned of hand-hammered heavy brass wire. That they're a golden color makes them very different and desirable; there isn't much Southwestern jewelry that you can wear with gold.

Not being silver, the jewels aren't required to have marks, so we can't be certain they're Native American-made. That's highly likely, though, as they originated in northern New Mexico. The prior owner recalls purchasing them at a crafts fair around 1980.

On posts for pierced ears, they measure a little more than 1 3/4 inches long and are very light and comfortable to wear. Condition is excellent.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Graceful Vintage Turquoise and Silver Ring

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1970   item# 1163906

Graceful Vintage Turquoise and Silver Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$60. Formerly $85.
(Free U.S. shipping
& gift-wrap if desired) 

This is one of the prettiest old turquoise rings I've ever seen and, having lived in New Mexico for many years, I've seen a lot of them. At 3/4" tall and 1/2" wide, the ring's face just about covers a knuckle, but it doesn't feel heavy and cumbersome, and its shape attractively elongates the finger, since part of the face rests below it. Adding more feminine flattery are the graceful curves of its fan shape, formed by four turquoise teardrops in silver bezels, and the daintiness of the shank.

Such a narrow band is, of course, subject to developing a bit of waviness over time. Any good jeweler can quickly smooth that out if it bothers you, but I enjoy it as evidence of age. Also attesting to age are the greening of the stones and the rich, dark patina among them. The lack of markings is also significant. I gave the back and shank a light polish to search for marks and found none. That the ring is Native American and crafted from silver, probably sterling grade, can't reasonably be argued, so the absence of hallmarks strongly suggests it was made no later than the 1960s. (The stamp that now guarantees Native American craftsmanship was introduced early in the 1970s.) The ring may be even older, because silver quality marks have been customarily used since the 1930s.

Size is now in the US 5.5 to 6 range, easily altered up or down, and provenance is a Pennsylvania estate.

There's no charge for U.S. shipping (with an equivalent discount on international delivery) and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Vintage Rhinestone Harem Ring, 5 Bands in One

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Bedouin: Pre 1980   item# 1007448

Vintage Rhinestone Harem Ring, 5 Bands in One
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$65. Was $85.
(Free U.S. Shipping
& Gift-Wrap, if Desired) 

Most harem rings are decidedly in the "fine jewelry" category -- made of high-carat gold and set with gemstones -- so it's quite unusual to find an affordable version. We got lucky and found two of them lately: a seven-ring stack of textured sterling bands and this beauty!

Here, diamond rhinestones not only ornament each of five bands joined at the back, but also fit together to form a lovely flower. The metal is silver in color, unmarked, and the faceted rhinestones are real dazzlers. Size is about a U.S. 8 -- on the large side, because such a wide ring looks good on the middle finger.

My best guess for dating would be 1970s, since harem rings were so trendy then, and provenance is a Pennsylvania estate.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Exotic Old Faux Amber and Silver Filigree Necklace

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Pre 1940   item# 1038418

Exotic Old Faux Amber and Silver Filigree Necklace
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$95 SALE. Was $125.
Free U.S. Shipping
& Gift-Wrap, if Desired 

Here's a head-turning necklace for you, obviously hand-made and of considerable age. Whenever I wear it, compliments flow and everyone believes it's genuine amber.

Adding to the opulence, the stacks of amber slices are separated by nine highly ornate spacer beads. The beads certainly contain some silver, since they've acquired a heavy patina.

I believe this piece dates from the early 20th century, based on its fancy link chain -- very similar to the "paperclip" style seen on necklaces from the Arts and Crafts era. Its origin could be Middle Eastern or perhaps it's from farther East. If you recognize the style and can place it definitively, please let us know. Provenance is an estate in New Mexico, where exotic jewelry is prized.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos.



Graceful Large Art Deco Brooch of Carved Ivory

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Far Eastern: Pre 1940   item# 1037984

Graceful Large Art Deco Brooch of Carved Ivory
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$95 SALE. Was $125.
Free U.S. Shipping
& Gift-Wrap, if Desired 

Carved from beautifully grained ivory, this elegant brooch is a highly sculptural form suggesting a feather fan or palm frond. The stylized design is pure Art Deco -- so, by American 75-year standards, the brooch is already antique, not merely vintage.

Based on its immaculate condition and the modern fastener that's obviously a recent addition, I expect the carving spent decades as a display piece before becoming a jewel. Of impressive size, it measures about 2.5 inches long and 1.75 inches wide. Provenance is a Florida estate and origin is most likely Asian.

As you know, ivory is becoming rarer by the day, due to entirely appropriate regulations in place since 1972. Prices are rising accordingly, so this item represents an extraordinary value.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Superb 1970s Turquoise Coral Shell & Silver Necklace

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1980   item# 628172

Superb 1970s Turquoise Coral Shell & Silver Necklace
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$325
Free U.S. Priority Shipping
(& Gift-Wrap if Desired)
Layaway Terms Available 

This is a supremely elegant Native American necklace that drapes like silk. You couldn't hope to find more perfectly graduated turquoise beads -- besides which, this jewel has EVERYTHING: accents of both shell and coral, plus wonderful silver beads of the type you seldom see anymore, hollow and ridged at the center.

The turquoise appears to be Blue Gem: the greenish type pooled with blue and loaded with pyrite matrix. The Blue Gem mine hadn't yet closed when this was made, although stones from there are now highly collectible. Most "finished" Blue Gem turquoise today is in private collections and museums, seldom offered for sale. Alternatively, it could be Bisbee, which is also rare (and called the Tiffany of Turquoise).

Of princess length (18 inches), this strand is quite heavy: about two ounces, aka 60 grams. It finishes with an old fish-hook fastener of silver. I love those for being so easy to wear (compared to nasty spring rings), the necklace is quite hefty: about two ounces. It appears that none of the silver has ever seen polish, so an extremely rich patina is present. If you want the tarnish off, be sure to polish by hand with a non-abrasive cream, so as not to disturb all this very valuable oxidation. Condition of the necklace is excellent. The irregularities around the edges of a few beads are not signs of damage; they're at points of heavy matrix, which often lies a bit below the adjoining surface.

From a New Mexico collection, the necklace was purchased in 1975 or 1976 by the original owner, in whose family it remained for the last 30-odd years. The original box of issue is with it and includes a brochure from the Bien Mur Indian Market Center. This is a fascinating piece of history, in that the shop used to be the only public structure on the reservation, but now is part of an enormous hotel, casino and amphitheatre complex just outside the city of Albuquerque. This would have been the market's very first brochure, because the shop opened in spring of 1975. (Its 32-year anniversary will be celebrated throughout the month of May.)

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Boho Feather Beads Brooch and Earrings Set 1 of a Kind

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Pre 1980   item# 412019

Boho Feather Beads Brooch and Earrings Set 1 of a Kind
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$45 SALE (Reduced from $75)
Free 1st Class U.S. Shipping
(& Gift Wrap if Desired) 

If you walk on the Wild Side, you'll be crazy about this huge 5 1/4-inch vintage brooch and the matching earrings. Created by a New Mexico craftswoman around 1980, this set has been in my personal collection since then. I've decided to sell it on, since I have another brooch that's similar (even bigger). Mine will be worn a *lot* this season, now that feathers are all over top designers' runway shows.

The central portion of the brooch and the earring tops are made of some sort of glitz-imbued plastic that's black with shiny gold flecks. Feathers and beads hang from the earrings - and the feather-crowned brooch, in which quite a few stunning beads are embedded, has others rising on wires at adjustable angles. All the jewels finish with dramatic saber-toothed dangles of dyed bone and are in original condition. (There's a teensy chip at the top back of one dangle that's been there all along and doesn't show when worn.) Steel earring posts and a brooch clasp mechanism are embedded in the backs.

You'll get loads of attention whenever you wear this spectacular set, and the mix of colors makes it go with practically everything: black, brown, tan, dark blue, blue-green and any shade of coral or rusty red.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!


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