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1950s Nestor Mexican silver and color-change sapphire Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

A listed early Taxco maestro who kept creating jewelry in the post-1948 period Nestor was not as prolific as some of his contemporaries yet his work was always of very high quality as were the materials that he used. During his career he tried his hand at several styles and techniques and some of his pieces are truly eye-catching. In the necklace presented here he seems to venture into the design universe of Margot de Taxco and the Los Castillo. Beading, cutwork, oxidation and hand-chased details combine in this complex sterling central station accented by a big, crown-set color changing corundum (synthetic sapphire). The gem is faceted, changes color from deep amethyst to a steely purple under different light conditions and it is a treat for the eyes. Last but not least, the links forming the chain are riveted to each other which bespeaks the necklace’s quality…  ...

Ledesma style Mexican silver modernist Bracelet ~ niello and color-change sapphire

By in Bracelets, Mexican and Latin American |

Copying the style associated with Enrique Ledesma this mid-century modernist Mexican silver bracelet is signed by a listed yet still unidentified contemporary of the famous Taxco designer. The juxtaposition of highly oxidized and polished silver surfaces characteristic of the style is dramatic and eye-catching and here it finds itself in contrast to the saturated color of the faceted synthetic sapphire. Mimicking the behavior of alexandrites, the gem changes from deep purple to steely amethyst under different light conditions while the sterling ring around it reflects and enhances the effect…   Size/Weight: 6 3/4″ inner circumference (clasped); width between 1 3/16″ and 1/2″; 38.7 grams Hallmarks / Date: maker’s initials “MMC” as well as “TAXCO MEXICO 925” and Eagle 3 assay mark; 1950s-60s Condition: very good vintage with the...

rare Antonio Pineda Mexican 970 silver Necklace ~ knot with pearls

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

An extremely rare Antonio Pineda necklace this modernist beauty I am presenting here is wrought in his favorite fine .970 silver alloy, oxidized in the design’s recesses and embellished with ten gorgeous, luminous soft white pearls. Cascading from an elaborate knot that forms the necklace’s central station, the pearls rest graciously on the collar bone and they look fantastic against a black background. Shown on p. 147 in “Silver Seduction”, the official catalogue for Pineda’s retrospective exhibition at UCLA’s Fowler Museum in 2008, the necklace is one of those designs that appear very rarely and, in my opinion, should be considered a treasured find. Elegant, expressive of Antonio’s genius yet freed from the bulkiness that characterizes some of his creations, the necklace is articulated and crafted in such a way as to gingerly sit rather than...

Taxco Deco Mexican silver amethyst Pill Box ~ siesta men

By in Mexican and Latin American, Uncategorized |

Pill boxes are among my must-have “needful things”. There is always one in my purse and several around the house at all times. The early Taxco Deco example I am presenting here is adorned by a double figural applique and centered by a saturated purple amethyst cabochon. Deep in their midday slumber, the two campesinos are accentuated by oxidation and patina that makes the applique stand out in a dramatic way. I love the pyramidal shape of the lid and the warm glow the sterling box has developed over its long – and undoubtedly useful – life…   Size/Weight: 1 11/16″ long by 1 1/8″ wide by 7/16″ tall (on the sides – the center is a little taller); 19.1 grams Hallmarks / Date: ” TAXCO SILVER”; pre-1948 Condition: very good vintage with great patina, a darling figural theme and a beautiful stone; the lid stays securely closed...

Los Ballesteros Mexican silver and citrine Pendant Necklace ~ modernist sunburst

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

A modernist sunburst created by combining shadowbox and cut-outs that surround a big, beautiful faceted pale lemon-colored gemstone is the theme of the vintage Los Ballesteros Mexican mid-century pendant necklace at hand. This early Taxco workshop never ceases to amaze me with their stunning, bold designs and their originality even after all these years of buying, selling and studying vintage Mexican jewelry. Their pendants and glorified hinged “bangle” bracelets are, I believe, their most inspired work – carefully crafted using high quality gemstones (in our case a citrine as indicated by my gem-tester), silver with generous thickness and meticulously finished. The chain in the set is of the same period and extraction yet signed by a different maker, listed but still unidentified. I think the two were meant to be together…   Size/Weight: pendant is 2 1/2″...

Mexican Deco silver repousse multi-row spheres Bracelet with amethyst glass masks

By in Bracelets, Mexican and Latin American |

I am thrilled to start the year presenting a Mexican Deco silver bracelet with amethyst glass masks and cabs. This type of multi-row repousse semi-spheres bangle (I like to think of similar bracelets as glorified hinged bangles indeed!) is one of the most sought-after forms in the world of vintage jewelry from Mexico. The particular example, with its heavy patina, its molded elongated masks and the hidden clasp (it is positioned behind one of the faces, as you can see) is a veritable little treasure and a wonderful aberration from the classic version. Here’s to a wonderful 2020 – may it bring us health, happiness, peace and beautiful baubles to brighten our days…   Size/Weight: 6 3/4″ inner circumference (clasped) by 1 1/16″ wide; 53.8 grams Hallmarks / Date: “STERLING MEXICO”; 1920s-40s Condition: very good vintage with heavy patina,...