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Turquoise & Tufa

Native Northwest Coast Vintage Necklace of Bone and Inlaid Abalone

Native Northwest Coast Vintage Necklace of Bone and Inlaid Abalone

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Little is known about this lovely vintage necklace other than it's a Northwest Coast piece, Native handmade and from the personal collection of the renowned Native American art dealer, collector and scholar Martha Hopkins Struever.

Hanging from red glass trade beads is a center pendant, hand-carved of a face surrounded by striking inlaid abalone. The piercing eyes are also blue/green/purple abalone shell depending on how the light hits them. 

The pendant is similar to jewelry made by Patty Fawn and her daughter, Nakweesee, who were adopted by the Kwakiutl or Kwakwaka'wakw Tribe of British Columbia, but it's unsigned and unattributed.

It is one of the few pieces of jewelry from this region that was part of Martha Struever's private collection. In fact, the last vacation that Marti ever took was to Alaska so that she could study the area's Native art and jewelry, which she'd always admired.

Pendant measures 1 5/16" long x 1 1/4" wide. Beads measure 20" from end to end and appear to have been restrung.

A note about Martha Struever's private, personal jewelry collection: If you spend some time on the internet (especially eBay), you'll find Native jewelry pieces appearing every so often with the claim that they're from the Martha Struever jewelry collection or ex Martha Struever collection. A few of these pieces were sold by Martha Struever at one time or another, but they were never part of what she privately owned. The distinction is an important one. Why? Because Martha Struever sold thousands of Native American pieces over her lifetime. Only a tiny fraction of the jewelry that she handled made it into her personal collection . This necklace is one of those pieces. 


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