This is one piece of Native American jewelry my parents purchased from a dealer friend in Tampa back in the early 70s. I’ve been searching for days online and can’t find one just like this. I did find out that the marking on the back N.TSO indicates it was made by Nellie Tso, but can’t find out anything about her.
I think it was made for a woman, but could be unisex. It’s 25″ in length (including the traditional clasp). The naja is 2-1/2″ wide and 2-10/16″ long. The blossoms, which I think may be sunflowers and are the unusual part of the necklace, are 1-1/2″ long and are attached to double bead strands. The weight is about 320g.
If you have seen one like this or know anything about the artist. Thanks for any help. Marta C.
Vintage Sandcast Squash Blossom Necklace
That is a unique and heavy sandcast……… squash blossom necklace ! I like it – it has a very pretty and unique design. It is hard for me to tell definitely from the photo but it seems to me that those are meant to be squash blossom flowers – if you have ever had a garden, you know what I mean – they are round and look like that.
Here is an example from our pawn shop of that type of squash blossom flower. But note, the example I am providing below is not sandcast like your necklace is – but the flowers are very similar, aren’t they?
Vintage Navajo Squash Blossom Flower on Necklace
Again, a guess from the photo – perhaps the pieces that project from the flowers are intended to be corn plants with corn leaves on each side. It looks like there is some texturing like kernels of corn. Is that so?
Corn, squash and beans are the traditional mainstays of the southwestern diet, culture and symbolism are are used in many ways in art and ceremony.
Corn, Beans and Squash : Pueblo Diet
Nellie Tso, a Navajo, was a silversmith for the Atkinson Trading Company around 1980. She specialized in sand cast watchbands. The hallmark you describe is one of four ways she has used to sign her work.
I hope this has been helpful. Enjoy your beautiful necklace !