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rare Mexican silver and stone Pin Brooch ~ WWII US Army officer’s visor cap

By in Brooches, Mexican and Latin American |

One of the pieces that were made around WWII, I believe, this Mexican silver and carved dyed calcite brooch is such a find! Shaped like a US Army officer’s visor cap, complete with the appropriate insignia, it recounts part of the relationship the two countries had during those difficult times albeit in its jewelry version. The fact is that during WWII and due to the restrictions on the availability of metals which were dedicated to the war effort, many US jewelry manufacturers and big retailers had their jewelry made in Mexico. Coro had whole lines crafted at Hector Aguilar’s workshop; Marcel Boucher’s “Parisina” line was also made in Mexico; and it is said that Spratling was commissioned to produce dogtags for the American soldiers…   Size / Weight: 2″ wide by 1 3/8″ tall; 29.1 grams Hallmarks / Date: “MADE IN MEXICO”; not...

Casa Prieto Mexican silver and amethyst Pin Brooch ~ swallow and heart

By in Brooches, Mexican and Latin American |

Swallows hold within their slender, elegant little bodies tender memories of my childhood in Greece – they are considered the most important harbingers of spring and symbolize regeneration, hope and the assurance that sun-filled days will always follow the darkest hours of winter. For the Victorians, they represented faithfulness and the promise of a loved-one’s return and as a motif, they were widely used in sentimental jewelry. This stunning Mexican Deco silver repousse version captures the bird at mid-flight, its bifurcated tail and extended wings helping it ride the winds to deliver the love token it carries. And what a statement that heart-shaped charm with its amethyst cabochon makes…   Size / Weight: 3 1/2″ beak to tail; 3 3/8″ wing span; heart token adds a 3/4″ drop and is 1/2″ wide; 22.2 grams Hallmarks / Date: “CASA...

Gerardo Lopez Mexican silver “mixed metals” figural Pin Brooch

By in Brooches, Mexican and Latin American |

Gerardo Lopez is one of my favorite Taxco maestros. I believe his talent and workmanship to have been of the same caliber as that of his more famous contemporaries and I am always on the look out for his jewelry. Based on his work, I believe that he must have worked for at least the Los Castillo and/or Margot de Taxco and his prowess in the art of repoussage supports the hypothesis. But he didn’t limit himself to the more “straightforward” kind of silversmithing – I have had enameled pieces by him in the past and today, I am presenting a fantastic “metales casados” (mixed metals) brooch. Just look at this treasure: on the back, it looks as clean and stunning as in the front! This is one of the “cleanest”, neatest, most seamless examples of this difficult technique I have ever seen. I will leave the rest to the photos…   Size/Weight:...

CEL Mexican Deco Matl style silver Pin Brooch ~ flower basket with turquoise and coral

By in Brooches, Mexican and Latin American |

Just shy of 3″ long, this Mexican Deco silver brooch is an example of the Mexico City style in which Matilde Poulat excelled. It is signed by “CEL”, one of the best, in my opinion, “less celebrated” maestros who created jewelry in that same style, the pin proves that quality and attention to detail does not always require a “big” signature. Steeped in the country’s rich culture with obvious the influence of Spanish Colonial design, it represents a more “folky” rendition of the classic giardinetto motif popular in Europe since the end of the 17th c.. Here the “little garden” is represented by a basket brimming with turquoise flowers and topped by a festive bow, that too accented with turquoise and coral. Beading, scrolls, wire-work and an articulated lower part add playfulness and more color to an already exuberant...

Ivar Holth / Ottar Hval Norway 830 silver solje Brooch and Earrings set

By in Brooches, Rings/earrings, US/European |

Based in Oslo, Norway, Ivar Holth and Ottar Hval created jewelry in both the classic Scandinavian enamel-over-silver genre but also pieces based on traditional designs, like the solje brooch and dangle earrings assembled set at hand. Wrought in 830 silver with the concave round and teardrop dangles having a vermeil finish the demi is delicate and eye-catching at the same time and has an endearing “ethnic” appeal. In Norwegian culture “solje” (sun) jewelry was believed to protect its wearer from evil, especially during transitional periods and was thus considered appropriate for newborns and brides. Though made by different makers this brooch and earrings came to me from a single owner and I thought they should continue their life together…   Size/Weight: brooch is 3 1/8″ tall by 2 1/8″ wide; earrings are 15/16″ long by 3/4″ wide;...