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Necklace, Thunderbird Depression, Vintage ‘40s, 1571

A work of art and a little history.

"During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Native American artists often used scrap materials including 78 rpm phonograph records, car battery casings (hard rubber), and red plastic dinnerware such as Dairy Queen spoons. This collectible, museum-quality tab necklace is a great example of Depression Era jewelry." (courtesy Horsekeeping, LLC)

This vintage thunderbird necklace dates back to the 1940s. It’s a very unusual piece, featuring mosaic inlay of a thunderbird, crafted using resourceful materials, like battery casing and gypsum, as well as tiny pieces of turquoise that in more prosperous times might have been discarded. The string of beads is adorned with 6 small triangular tabs crafted from the same materials. 

  • artist: Betty Joe
  • affiliation: Navajo
  • hallmarks: NAVAJO  B JOE
  • materials: sterling silver, Royston turquoise, orange spiny oyster, red spiny oyster, purple spiny oyster 
  • length is 22"
  • thunderbird: 2 1/2" x 2 1/4"
  • weight: 116.6 oz
  • hook & eye closure
  • contemporary
  • style number: JN1562
in stock
All returns on jewelry subject to exchange or store credit

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