Who made this Petit Point necklace?

This sterling silver and turquoise petit point necklace arrived in an estate collection that had some museum quality, authentic Native American pieces in it. The woman who had owned the collection had a very good eye and had some amazing vintage Native American pieces she collected over the years. So if one judged this necklace by the company it kept, it would be thought to be Zuni or Navajo made. I showed it to some experienced dealers and collectors who thought it was an exceptional piece.  They felt the workmanship was very good.

What do you think?

From the beginning, although it looked very carefully made, it didn’t look Native American to me – it looked like it was made in another country.  So I took a close look……………

Who made this petit point necklace?

Who made this petit point necklace?

There were a few elements that I had never seen in a Zuni or Navajo petit point piece before.

The trapezoid piece above the central medallion was something I had not seen before.......

The trapezoid piece above the central medallion was a shape I had not seen before nor were the attachment loops. The trapezoid reminded me of India, Nepal ……….??

The overall look of the collar wings didn't quite have the Native American look to me........

The overall style of the collar wings didn’t quite have the Native American look to me……..

And while the embellished links above the collar looked nice, again, I had not seen that particular element before............

And while the embellished links above the collar were a beautiful addition, again, I had not seen that particular element before…………

The hand made chain was really nice and did look like some NA made chains I had seen........but wait.........what's that on the end??!!

The hand made chain was really nice and did look like some NA made chains I had seen……..but wait………what’s that on the end??!!

A maker's disc that says 925 (designation of sterling silver) and PHILIPPINES !!!

A maker’s disc that says 925 (designation of sterling silver) and PHILIPPINES !!!

If you were fooled, don’t feel bad. A number of very experienced collectors and dealers had looked at this piece and had not suspected it was an import.

It is very rare for an import to have a tag declaring the country of origin like this. Usually you have to be a super sleuth to spot the items that are imported and presented as Native American made. The fraudsters are getting very good at being bad – they copy designs and hallmarks to a T.

Jewelry made in the Philippines, also called Filipino-Made Jewelry, is a severe detriment to the livelihood of authentic Native American artists. In 2015 there was a federal sting operation that identified sellers who were fraudulently presenting imported jewelry as Native American made. You can read about it by clicking the link below.

Three New Mexicans Charged with Fraudulently Selling Filipino-Made Jewelry as Native American-Made

Keep your eyes and ears open, learn all you can. Buy wisely and enjoy !!

Paula

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9 thoughts on “Who made this Petit Point necklace?

  1. This is such a great wealth of information to pass on to as many as possible. Thank you so much for doing so. I love following your tips!

  2. Wow! Fantastic workmanship! Being tagged as Philippines or Filipino Made doesn’t bother me as much as blatantly trying to pass it off as Native American made.

  3. At first glance, I would have been suspicious but curious. Having been duped myself, one of the first things I look at now is the tiny tag or mark on the clasp. It is an interesting piece though.

    • Hi Terry, me too. Since it came with an estate lot, well, it was here as part of a group purchase……….but here is the funny thing. I know I show the tag in great magnification in the blog but really it is very tiny and the seller (who was inherited the collection from a relative) said she did not notice it…….and truth be told, about half the people I showed the necklace to in person did not see it……….weird eh? Then I showed them, we got out the magnifier……and they were shocked. If I were offered this to purchase for the store, just as a one item thing, even without seeing the tag, I would turn it down because of the design features I call out in the post……and my gut feeling. Paula

      • Paula: That is exactly how the scammers get away with it, then say they weren’t scamming because it was marked. I know the size of the tags you are speaking of…almost microscopic. I have also found they can be marked somewhere on a clasp, typically China. So frustrating. Years ago, my Dad gave me a 10x loupe for Christmas and it has really come in handy…when I have it on me! Sometimes one has to go with the gut. Mine has sometimes served me well and other times given me heartburn. The piece you show is still interesting…sort of Nepalese or something. But it is frustrating if it was sold to someone originally as Native American. With estate lots, one gets what one gets and often times so many surprises! Your site has been very helpful to me personally. I’ve been researching my own collection of Native American jewelry, and your site helped me identify that I had an old Tommy Singer piece. Of course I knew Tommy Singer, just didn’t know all his signatures. Although not perfect as a few pieces of inlay are gone, I put it in a shadow box and hung it on my wall!

      • Those tiny tags are microscopic! I have also found tiny marks on the clasps…usually China! Very frustrating. My Dad gave me a 10x loupe for Christmas years ago which is very handy…if I have it on me! Spur of the moment shopping forays when I don’t have it, and neither does the shop means I have to rely on my gut. It either serves me well or causes me heartburn! Your site has been so helpful to me personally in sorting through my Native American jewelry collection. I found I had a Tommy Singer piece and was thrilled, not knowing he had used so many different signatures over the years. Has a few pieces of inlay missing, so mounted it in a shadow box and hung it on the wall! As for estate lots, they are so full of surprises!

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