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:: Ethereal Archaic ::

One of the finest talisman necklaces I've made, this piece is a blend of ancient and modern, the rustic and ethereal. Two striking blue-violet jelly opal beads are set off by the warm browns, pearls and silvers throughout.

The centerpiece to which all the talismans are attached is an old shell ornament from Morocco. It has a gorgeous patina of warm brown, and appears to be some sort of resin, judging from the crystalline fragments in the hollow of the reverse. Some sort of incense, perhaps? I'm sure it has some significance.

Left to right, here are the talismans:

+A vintage deer horn pendant from Europe on seed pearls and fossil walrus ivory, with a fine silver wire wrap: spirit of the deer, gentleness, vigilance, a wild grace.

+A double pendant of blue-violet Australian opal and bronze ammonite (my own work) on pearls and Thai silver with a fine silver wrap: the spirit world, the mineral kingdom and eternity.

+A strip of elkhide, to which I've sewn an edging of Thai silver beads, wrapped at the top with hand-twilled hemp cord: spirit of the elk: spirit messenger, gentle power, integrity.

+A double pendant of a fossil walrus ivory artifact fragment and a bronze spirit (my own work), another opal bead, a snakebone bead, pearls, Thai silver, and fine silver wrap: the ancestors, ancestral wisdom, spirit helpers, spirit of the snake: transformation, Divine Feminine energy, shedding one's skin.

+A Himalayan quartz crystal with rainbows with lavender petrified wood, yellow jasper, andalusite, pearls and Thai silver with a fine silver wrap: clarity, spiritual connection, vision, beauty emerging from life's difficulties.

Resting above the Moroccan shell is a stack of beads: a fossil fish vertebra, two of my own handmade bronze beads and one of my sterling silver discs, this one impressed from the bark of a Mojave Desert smoke tree.

The handwoven nylon cord is a golden brown and is of a double-thickness, two cords to each warp rather than my usual one. A counterweight rests at the nape of the neck, consisting of an old copper African belt ring with another Himalayan quartz crystal.

This is a beautiful and powerful piece that rests well when worn, feels great on, and also has a very pleasing sound. It is pricier than most of my pieces because it includes some expensive components, but also took several days to complete! It actually priced out to well over $500, but I decided to lower it a bit. Much of the time was spent in stitching those minute silver beads to the elkhide...painstaking and slow work, but such a lovely result.

I love the juxtaposition of the ethereal violet opals and the soft rainbow colors in the quartz with the tribal and archaic elements in this piece. The harmonize so well together and speak to me of the integration of spirit with the everyday world, and the bringing together of opposites. (In the quartz, the rainbows float just under the matte surface of the crystal and didn't photograph well, but can be seen when the crystal is turned about in the light. I hung the crystal so the largest rainbow would face forward.)

Size: 22" or 56cm from the nape of the neck to the bottom of the pendants when worn. The pendant assemblage from the wrapping on the cord to the base of the beaded elkhide strip is 9 1/2" long or 24cm, and it is 1 7/8" or 4.8cm wide.

Care: Clean pendant assemblage with a soft, damp cloth. The woven nylon cord may be washed by soaking in mild fabric detergent and lukewarm water, then rinsed and blotted dry. Do not scrub any of the components.

Ethereal Archaic will arrive beautifully giftwrapped in a hand-decorated box, along with a handwritten descriptive label.

Frequently asked questions about DesertTalismans

Sorry, my work is one of a kind and I do not accept any custom orders, including requests to recreate previously sold items. 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.
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

Vintage Ethnographic Opal and Mixed Media Talisman Necklace


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: shell, elk hide, leather, bronze, quartz, opal, snake bone, deer horn, Thai silver beads, pearls, nylong, sterling silver, copper
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 635 reviews
  • Favorited by: 29 people