The Zuni pueblo was not easy to travel to. Their fetishes were carved as an important part of their culture and not strung together in necklace form. 4 of the carvers were his sons, all gifted carvers and his store is noted in John Kennedy's book "A Good Trade: Three Generations of Life and Trading Around the Indian Capital Gallup, New Mexico".
Mark Bahti in his book "Spirit in the Stone: A Handbook of Southwest Indian Animal Carving and Beliefs" points out the carvings of the Livingston/Yazzie families who worked for Frank Turpen. Also in this group of Gallup carvers was a "surrogate" son identified in one version of this history as Peterson Juan a gifted carver of Zuni, Acoma and Navajo heritage. In another version he is identified as Johnnie Sheyka, Zuni. He played a large roll in teaching the other carvers as well as creating his own fetish necklaces. Each carver in Turpen's workshop of 20, would produce a favorite fetish that they were skilled at and then an assortment of carvings from all the artists would be designed by Turpen and strung into a necklace by Frank's wife Eva and daughter Tanya.A signature carving of these early 70's Turpen designs was an open winged bird in the center. An interesting and strange part of the above history is that various signature necklace styles from this famous store are attributed to artists who claimed to be Zuni. Three of them are Tony Luala, Johnnie Sheyka and Juan Hashke and their pieces are listed in many reputable galleries and even in books.
There is definitely speculation that these are imaginary names that Turpen assigned to the fetish necklaces designed and created in his shop by his various Navajo carvers. The many fetish carvings seen on this necklace are identical to carvings attributed to Tony Luala. It has the signature single carving of the open winged bird at the base seen in Turpen's workshop pieces.
The carvings are beautifully done. Small in size, but sturdy. See the coin for comparison in my photos. A lot of detail for small animals.
The turtle and frog remind me of Dinah and Pete Gasper's work. There are 5 strands that stack with a total wearing length of approximately 25 inches. All the strands are beautifully anchored by an extra long carving of a fox with a turned up tail...There are squirrels and birds... A few hummingbirds that are exquisite. The mother of pearl has a pink iridescent cast and is truly elegant. Though each carving is small and delicate, the 70 or so seen as a whole make a huge statement piece. It's finished with elegant curved sterling cones that compliment the mother of pearl perfectly.
A stunning accent for any outfit, casual or dress. So comfortable you will forget you have it on. This item is in the category "Jewelry & Watches\Ethnic, Regional & Tribal\Necklaces & Pendants". The seller is "100smr" and is located in this country: US.
This item can be shipped to United States.