Antique Totem Necklace from 1968

Hi Paula,

When i was 10, in 1968 my mom and i took an across country road trip for the summer and stayed all over out west. I bought this necklace, which is like a 5 inch totem  w/ turquoise & coral inlaid in silver  both sides are ornate & i just came across it again in my moms old cedar chest. I scanned pics of it and know nothing about. could you tell me about it and or if its valuable. Please it has all handmade silver beads round and long ones and the totems nose is even turquoise-its very unusual thats why i got it, when i was little but mom took it away and hid it from me cause i played with it! I got it back now.


Hi Vonda,

Even though the front photo is terribly out of focus, I posting both here in case someone has seen something like this.

Here’s what I can tell you. What you call the back side, the bird-like creature made of chip inlay has features of a peyote bird or water bird and also an eagle kachina.

Sterling Silver Eagle Dancer Kachina Pendant by Bennie Ration, Navajo

The front side – the nose or beak is certainly an interesting feature of the kachina.

I wouldn’t venture a guess on its value because of the photo quality and not knowing if it is sterling silver, real turquoise etc. The main value is to you because of its provenance – the memories, the story with the piece.


4 thoughts on “Antique Totem Necklace from 1968

  1. Hi, guys! It is a bad pic and I, like Paula, wish I could see more detail, but bringing in my imagination I love that necklace! I second Paula’s comments but if my imagination is correct I think there is chip inlay on the back and silver work of various kinds with stones on the front. It is a kachina figure for sure and the stones of coral and turquoise look great (in bur vision anyway). The beads include round and long melon beads. On what is it strung? Chain? Wire? Cord? What are the dimensions of the figure? Can you get us better pictures? Thanks for showing us. Linda

  2. i was given a native american necklace by a nice man i just met once he asked me to help him with some trash and i did and when i was done he showed me around his house and sat me down in his bed room and said turn around i did and he put a necklace on my neck ive never seen anything like it in my entire life when i wear it i feel happy stronger in every way idk what it is but i can feel it

    • Patrick: I owned a fabulous bracelet of his at one time, which I sold. The bracelet was a thick slab with beautiful stamping suitable for a man or a woman, probably made for a man. I researched and learned a little about Randy Shorty. He was Navajo and he trained other silversmiths, many bragged about being trained by him. He is deceased and worked for Juni Mountain Trading Company for twenty years before his death over six years ago. The bracelet I had was fabulous. It measured 6 1/4″ internally for the silver alone, gap measured 1 1/4″, so internal length was 7.5″ width measured 11/16″. Bracelet weighed 113.2g and the stamp work was very deep and sure, really gorgeous. The sort of thing that could be a signature piece, worn every day. I am sure your necklace is wonderful..

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