Arte en Plata Mexican modernist silver owl Pendant Necklace ~ Taxco mixed metals and mozaico inlay

on Jun 12, 2019 in archived

Operated by the Jacopo brothers, Arte en Plata was a silver store based in Mexico City through which several independent maestros sold their work. There are a few specific designs that I have come to associate with the name over my years of dealing in vintage Mexican jewelry but even though they are characterized by a modernist flair, I had never encountered such a minimalist example as this owl pendant before. Modernism, mixed metals and azur-malachite inlay combine here to create the bird’s face with just a couple of … strokes. Graphic, impressive in its denuded strength, it is paired with a 1980s Mexican sterling neck ring which, I believe, is the perfect way to showcase it…


Size/Weight: pendant is 1 3/4″ tall (without the bail) by 1 7/8″ wide; it adds a 2″ drop to the neck ring; neck ring itself is 15 1/2″ in inner circumference (including the 2 1/2″ gap; adjustable); 25.0 grams (for the set; on a postal scale)

Hallmarks / Date: retailer’s name as shown as well as maker’s initials and “TAXCO MEXICO 925” alongside des. no 48; there is also an impressed “B” that looks like one of Bernice Goodspeed’s but in the existing literature there is no mention of a connection between Bernice and Arte en Plata so for now this will remain another issue to be explored; neck ring is marked “TE-26” as well as “925 MEXICO”; pre-1948 for the pendant while neck ring is from the 1980s

Condition: excellent vintage with great patina, a fantastic design and a great combination of metals and rich colors in the azur-malachite inlay; no unsightly damage nor repairs noted either


SOLD – Thank you!

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