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Necklace, Thunderbird Depression, Vintage '40s, 1602

Size Guide

A work of art and a little piece of 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 8 small triangular tabs crafted from the same materials.

  • affiliation: Kewa
  • materials: gypsum, turquoise, various recycled resins
  • length: 21"
  • pendant: 2 1/4" X 1 1/2"
  • weight: 39 grams
  • closure
  • nice vintage condition
  • stones are secure 
  • light wear from ethnographic use
  • style number: JN1602
in stock
All returns on jewelry subject to exchange or store credit

Product Disclaimers



In the absence of a specific assertion or certification to the contrary, Double D Ranch does not warrant, represent, or suggest that any particular item or product which is sold or offered for sale by Double D Ranch in any forum or venue of sale is created or produced by any Indian or Indian Tribe, is an Indian product, or was created by any Indian arts and crafts organization as such terms are defined by the laws of the United States, or the laws of any other jurisdiction, including without limitation, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act and rules set forth by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.

Double D Ranch supports the goals of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act and the Indian Arts and Crafts Board to prevent fraudulent advertisement, support truth-in-advertising, and prohibit misrepresentation in the marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States.


  • Many of the jewelry items we sell are antique, vintage, and/or pre-owned. We acquire these pieces from dealers in New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada, who work exclusively with Native American jewelry and art. That means they had a life before we found them, and they may show evidence of that previous life; signs of wear, dents, scratches, oxidation, broken stones, etc. We strive to be accurate and transparent in our descriptions of these pieces.

  • Jewelry items are not photographed to scale. We’re not trying to be tricky, our clothing items aren’t photographed to scale either (imagine how large that catalog would be!). Please check the description for the item’s dimensions and feel free to email us with any questions.

  • We are not gemologists. We choose pieces based on their overall aesthetic and how well they accessorize the Double D Ranch collection. Due to the high quality of laboratory-made stones and the influx of fake “Native American” jewelry from the Middle East, we rely heavily on our vetted suppliers to maintain a level of confidence in the quality of stones, provenance, and authenticity of each piece. We try our best to accurately describe the stones in our jewelry items but cannot absolutely guarantee them.

  • We celebrate aging. In ourselves, and in our jewelry. We want the true age of the piece to be represented, so we do not perform any type of cleaning or polishing. If the item is oxidized when we acquire it, that is precisely how you will receive it.