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Deco Mexican silver repousse Dragons Necklace and Earrings set ~ Los Castillo design

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces, Rings/earrings |

Based on the Los Castillo “Chinese Dragons” design which was most probably created by Margot de Taxco during her “Far Eastern” period, the necklace and earrings set at hand is not signed for maker yet exhibits the careful, meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail for which jewelry from that period is know and sought after. Unusually long the necklace is perfect for those of us who love Mexican Deco jewelry but not necessarily chokers while the earrings are guaranteed to add that “dragon lady” mystique to an otherwise ordinary day! Very good detail, careful finishing and great patina that accentuates the already oxidized recesses in the repoussage and renders the demi more sculptural…   Size/Weight: 21″ long (you could easily have it taken down to 18″ by removing one link on either side); central “dragons”...

Flli Coppini Italian 800 silver cross Pendant Necklace ~ Renaissance Revival

By in Necklaces, US/European |

One of the two most famous and sought after names in the field of early 20th c. Italian Renaissance Revival jewelry, the Coppini Bros were based in Florence and have been active in jewelry making since 1740. The hallmarks and quality of the casting in this cross pendant necklace date it, I believe, in the opening decades of the 20 c., a time during which Coppini creations were favored by American travelers as mementos of their Grand Tour. Generous in size, with its original chain comprised of stylized floral links, the pendant necklace seems to have been gilded initially – traces of the gold plating are just registering to the naked eye (under the studio lights and through the macro lens they become more obvious). Yet I prefer the set as it is today, with the ghost of mellowed gilding bestowing upon the 800 silver a glow that bespeaks its long, no doubt rich, life…  ...

Los Ballesteros Mexican silver sunburst Pendant Necklace with sapphire

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

When it comes to impressive pendant necklaces with a distinct “ethnic” twist, the Los Ballesteros signature is what one has to look for within the field of vintage Mexican silver. Their designs are amazing not just for their proportions but also for their quality of materials and impeccable craftsmanship. This sunburst example with color-change sapphire (synthetic corundum) hanging off the hand-made sterling chain of the same vintage I have had several times in the past but I never tire of it. There are always small variations, in size, in the choice of gemstone, in the decision on whether to adorn the bail or not. Yet the result is always fabulous – and therein lies the workshop’s caliber…   Size / Weight: pendant is 2 7/8″ in diameter (without the bail); with the bail it adds a 3 3/4″ drop to the chain; chain itself is 28″ long;...

Enrique Ledesma Mexican silver blue enamel Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

One of the most inspired Taxco modernists, Enrique Ledesma is not widely known as an enamelist yet he did create jewelry combining sterling with bright colored enamels. It seems that those pieces are rare and difficult to find but if one is lucky enough to come upon an example, the search is justified and the seeker duly rewarded! The necklace at hand, distinctly “machine age” in its constituting elements, breaks free of its functionalist constraints with the use of brilliant blue enamel. The color seems as if lit from within, the glaze above it giving it a semi-translucent appearance, the richness of the pigment breath-taking. Simple materials, simple geometry, fantastic sense of design…   Size / Weight: 16 3/4″ long (wearable; end-to-end 17 1/2″; can easily accept a sterling extension) by 3/4″ wide; 73.0 grams Hallmarks / Date: fully and...

long Mexican silver caged tumbled stones Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

I thought I should help usher in a glorious Fall this year – I won’t miss the summer and probably won’t miss any of 2020 – so why not move on and bring some warm, rich colors in our beleaguered lives? Earthy beiges, browns, oranges and greens pair beautifully with well-aged sterling silver wire that cages glistening pieces of agate, onyx and quartz linking them together in this rope-length necklace. Necklaces of this type from the pre-1980 period are not as easy to come upon as similar pieces from the 1980s on. Yet they are worth looking for because their quality is so much better than that of newer examples – the sterling wire is thicker, the wrapping more meticulous and the stones carefully selected for shape and richness of color…   Size / Weight: 35 1/2″ long; width approx. 5/8″; 115.0 grams Hallmarks / Date: maker’s...

William Spratling Mexican silver “Tuliman” Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

One of my favorite Spratling designs, I feel that the “Tuliman” necklace differs from most of his other designs in that it is based on a piece of folk art rather than inspired by ancient artifacts and motifs. He purportedly noticed the bird while sketching a ceramic pot for his friend’s Elizabeth Morrow’s book “Casa Manana”. There is something primordial, even “naive” about it (if I am allowed the use of the term here). I love the fact that the birds are almost mono-dimensional despite the fact that their bodies have been pushed outward from the open back; I like the puzzled look in their eyes, their stance as if ready to peck at something on the ground. And then there is the music of the cascabeles…   Size / Weight: 20  1/2″ long; birds station is 6  5/8″ long by 1  1/2″ wide (the height of the bird’s...