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RESERVED Mixed Media Vintage Charm Necklace with Antique Key, Vintage Crystal, and Buddhist Charm

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:: The Key to Wealth Lies in Inner Peace ::

This large but comfortable talisman necklace marks my annual return to the magical Drylands Incantations line. I've noticed that my work tends to follow a seasonal flow, and autumn is the time I gravitate towards the rich mixed-metals and sparkle of these pieces. This one is full of the contrasts between earthy/organic and vintage sparkle that I find so satisfying and intriguing.

"Key" has seven charm strands swinging freely from an old brass ring, originally worn on a belt by the tribeswomen of West Africa. These include an antique skeleton key with a rusted patina that looks like it was hand-cut with a file, a large piece of fossil walrus ivory from an old tribal village site in Alaska, and a beautifully-detailed Thai Buddhist temple amulet. I've added a handmade spiralling copper element that was impressed on a fossil ammonite, and for rich contrast there are two brass chains glittering with crystal hanging from it which end in jewels. There's also an extra large copper pearl, a vintage coin on a bail from (I believe) Pakistan with elegant Arabic script, and another brass charm from the same part of the world.

The supporting cast include vintage 1930s French rondelles of brass and crystal, rich Czech artisan glass beads, Swarovski crystal, pyrite, black tundra sapphire, and a glimmering scatter of glass and metal beads from my Borderlands studio blend. All of the charm strands are on hammered wire attachments of bronze, brass and sterling silver, or seed beads on wire.

These talisman necklaces take several days to put together as I carefully choose each component to balance and complement the rest. With literally hundreds of components to select from, the ensuing trial-and-error can take a long time, but the result is a piece that is balanced and hangs together in harmony. Another thing I take great care with is to make sure all wire work is carefully finished and patinaed--you will not find any sharp, protruding edges on my pieces.

I've created a riveted brass bail for the African belt ring that attaches it to a 4mm espresso brown sanded leather cord. An unusual closure adds an extra bit of interest in the back. I layered several sheets of resined paper--with vintage text or my own script--inside a curved bezel designed by Susan Lenart Kazmer, then secured the stack with a vintage French sequin, bead, and nut-and-screw. Brass spring ends, one forming a hook, provide the anchor, while a wire-wrapped bead dangle hangs beside it.

As always, Drylands Incantations pieces come in personalized gift boxes that are works of art in themselves, with layers of stampings and labels that I designed myself using historic Wild West typefaces. Included inside is a handmade and handwritten description of the piece. They make great gifts, for yourself or someone special!

Size: 46cm from the closure in the back to the bottom of the longest crystal chain. The leather cord with closure is 49.5cm in length. The talismans including the bail are 23.5cm long.

Care: You can rinse the entire piece--even the resined paper--in cool water to clean. Gently blot dry with a soft towel.

The Key to Wealth Lies in Inner Peace will arrive beautifully giftwrapped as described above.

Frequently asked questions about DesertTalismans

CUSTOM ORDERS: My work is one of a kind and I do not accept any custom orders, including requests to recreate previously sold items.

RESERVING AN ITEM: Items may only be reserved for previously established customers. Payment must be made in full at time of purchase. No partial payments in order to hold an item prior to sale are accepted. Reserves are meant for an occasional basis; please do not ask for everything you want to buy to be put on reserve for you, as it is not fair to me or to other customers.
The size of each item is given at the bottom of each listing. The only variations in size are for rings that are adjustable. See the listings for details.
Care instructions are provided at the bottom of each listing.
All items are giftwrapped and carefully packaged for shipping. See my Sample Packaging listing for details.
Sorry, wholesale is not available at this time.
All items and images in the Desert Talismans shop are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form, or in any medium, without the written permission of Dawn Wilson-Enoch

RESERVED Mixed Media Vintage Charm Necklace with Antique Key, Vintage Crystal, and Buddhist Charm


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: fossil ivory, antique skeleton key, copper, vintage coin, leather, resined paper, vintage rondelles, pearl, Buddhist charm, crystal chain, Swarovski crystal beads, Czech artisan glass beads, glass beads
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 638 reviews
  • Favorited by: 71 people