Santo Domingo Depression Era Heishi Bead & Tab Necklace

Gem Set Love

1 item left


A highly collectible Santo Domingo Depression era necklace. During The Great Depression, when precious materials were hard to come by, the Santo Domingo pueblo made ingenious use of alternative materials. Plastic from phonograph records, piano keys, and toothbrush handles were all used to create gorgeous, vibrant jewelry. This fabulous necklace features tabs of red resin, gypsum, and crushed turquoise inlaid on slabs cut from black automotive battery casings. The tabs are strung on heavy white thread along with heishi beads of cut and shaped gypsum. This technique creates the appearance of precious stone and shell inlay. There is no clasp, this strand of beads is long enough to fit over the head. This necklace is a fascinating example of clever creativity in the face of privation. And a reminder of the hidden beauty of common objects. Circa 1930.

Heishi (meaning "shell") beads are small disc or tube-shaped beads made of shells or stones, traditionally cut, polished, and drilled by hand. They originate with the Kewa Pueblo, previously known as the Pueblo of Santo Domingo, people of New Mexico.

Details.....The necklace is 24" long. The tabs measure 27.8mm by 9.7mm. In Very Good Vintage Condition. You should always expect some wear on your vintage and antique jewels, we consider it part of the charm.

Item #JJ57

Layaway available, contact us for details.