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Turquoise & Tufa

Rare Vintage Raymond And Mary Rosetta Heishi Necklace of Natural Turquoise Beads

Rare Vintage Raymond And Mary Rosetta Heishi Necklace of Natural Turquoise Beads

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This one is hard to sell. It's one of those rare vintage pieces with as much soul as it has beauty. Upon first glance, the turquoise heishi necklace looks so simple, but it goes much deeper than that.

The two strand necklace is made of the most gorgeous natural green turquoise beads both variegated in color and graduated in size. The beads were handmade in the traditional manner by Raymond and Mary Rosetta.

Ray and Mary Rosetta were jewelers at Kewa Pueblo or Santo Domingo Pueblo making their beads in the painstaking traditional, old style process - completely by hand without using any power tools. The final result has an exquisite feel unlike any other - it's almost as if you can feel Ray and Mary's intention and love that were infused into every single bead. 

The Rosettas were born in 1929 and 1930. True old timers in the fondest sense of the word, and artists who appeared at Santa Fe Indian Market from the 1950's until 2002 During those years, the Rosettas won a number of prestigious awards and their work is in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Mary and Ray Rosetta are also credited with inventing tiny liquid silver beads in 1955, the kind that later became more ubiquitous and machine made. 

Not to be confused with jewelers Raymond and Phyllis Rosetta, you won't find a lot of  Raymond and Mary Rosetta's work out there. Even though it's not flashy, it's the kind of art that makes a mark on collectors, creates emotional "bonds", and winds up staying in collections. 

This necklace, in fact, belonged to the famous Native American art dealer, collector and scholar Martha Hopkins Struever. It was one of those pieces of jewelry that stayed with her until the end. 

This treasure measures 20.5" in length. It's hallmarked "RMR" on the silver cones. 


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