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ProSa Mexican silver and cobalt blue glass scroll Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

Not a very prolific taller, ProSa is nevertheless a name that I look for and whose pieces I try to get for my inventory whenever possible. Their jewelry that I have had over the years are cast and usually very nicely defined and finished. And even though I wouldn’t say that I associate them with big, in-your-face pieces, I was still pleasantly surprised to find this delicately detailed necklace, each of its links adorned with a cobalt blue art glass cabochon. I believe the cabs might even be foiled because they reveal brighter depths when the light hits them directly. Very representative of the more romantic trend of the late 1940s-1950s, the necklace is sheer pleasure to wear…   Size/Weight: 15 3/4″ long (wearable; once clasped, it becomes a little roomier at around 16″; easily lengthened with a simple sterling extension which I can provide upon request);...

massive Los Ballesteros Mexican silver smokey topaz hinged Bangle Bracelet

By in Bracelets, Mexican and Latin American |

There is big and then there is massive – and the Los Ballesteros hinged bangle bracelet designs usually fall under the second category! Over the last few years I have become enamored of their creations in this form. The more I see, the more I want to discover. It is not just the bracelets’ proportions and the amazing use of hard-stones and faceted gems in their ornamentation; it is the perfection in their crafting, the way the materials embrace each other and the uniqueness of their designs that, in my opinion at least, elevates the Los Ballesteros workshop to heights unsurpassed by their contemporaries in this specific genre. I could hardly exaggerate the boldness of the huge gem in its elevated crown setting that takes center stage in the example at hand (it registers as topaz on my gem tester, I am assuming synthetic). The dimpled dots making up the bracelet’s...

Carmen Beckmann Mexican silver and opals dome Ring

By in Mexican and Latin American, Rings/earrings |

Opals seem to have been a special material for Carmen Beckmann since she created several drop-dead (and quite often big and bold) designs combining them with sterling silver. The domed ring I am presenting here I had never seen before. Studded with a multitude of opals en cabochon separated by tiny little beading the ring shoots out metallic flashes of greens, blues, ambers and purples as the hand moves and the light hits it at different angles. If you like variety and surprise, this is the ring for you – a true chameleon that changes its appearance a thousand times during the day…   Size/Weight: sz 5.75 US (easily resizable by your jeweler with no fear of losing the hallmarks); face is 1″ in diameter; 5/8″ rise; 21.1 grams Hallmarks / Date: fully signed with Beckmann’s name as well as “STERLING MEXICO” (the “c” is missing in her...

early Los Castillo Mexican 980 silver Fur Clip / Pin

By in Mexican and Latin American, Pins/brooches |

Magnificent early Los Castillo repousse fur clip wrought in high purity, 980 silver as was the case with many designs in the workshop’s opening years. This is my first fur clip by them and even though I am not a … fur-kind-of-girl, I cannot help but admire the imposing presence of this piece and its beautiful workmanship. It is not just the size that attracts the eye and holds the gaze captive here – it is also the unique, velvety patina that only 980 silver develops. Whether as a fur clip or as a brooch, you will never grow tired of wearing it…   Size/Weight: 4 1/8″ long by 2 3/4″ wide; 28.0 grams Hallmarks / Date: signed with the taller’s early signature in straight capital letters as well as “MADE IN MEXICO”, “TAXCO 980” and des. no 401; 1940s Condition: excellent vintage with fantastic patina, big in size and...

Francisco Rivera Mexican silver and amethyst Bracelet ~ sculptural foliate design

By in Bracelets, Mexican and Latin American |

One of the Taxco maestros that sprang out of Spratling’s Las Delicias, Francisco Rivera came into my life a little later than some of his more famous contemporaries yet the minute I realized who he was and what kind of jewelry he made, I fell in love! He is a designer/silversmith who almost flies under the radar – no big bands, no confetti in the air, no crowds around him. But believe me when I say, his work is en par with the best of them out there in quality of materials, in craftsmanship and attention to finishing and more often than not in inspired design. The leaf and amethyst bud bracelet at hand beckons you to run your fingers over its links as it glistens with warm patina. The stones are saturated in color and full of interesting inclusions; the silver heavy, deeply chased and cleverly oxidized…   Size/Weight: 7 1/2″ long (wearable; when clasped, it...

Margot de Taxco “figure eight” Mexican silver Ring ~ des no 5100

By in Mexican and Latin American, Rings/earrings |

Margot de Taxco rings do not come up very often and I am thrilled to be presenting a “figure 8” example here! Out of her design no 5100 suite, the ring – due to space constrictions – is made up of only half the “figure 8” but it is still a gorgeous piece. I love the hand-hammered, oxidized surface contained within the raised sterling border. Definitely a less-is-more design, an instant in Margot’s experimentation with modernism, an a ring that will become one of your prized possessions…   Size/Weight: currently sz 6 US (adjustable to at least one size bigger); face is 5/8″ by approx. 3/4″ (in this size); 6.3 grams Hallmarks / Date: fully marked with Margot’s signature, des. no 5100, and Eagle 16 assay mark; 1950s-60s Condition: excellent vintage with its oxidation in great shape, with great patina and no unsightly damage...