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Celia Harms Mexican silver gilt Etruscan Pin Pendant Torque Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces, Pins/brooches |

Last year I was lucky to find three examples of jewelry by Celia Harms, a talented designer who lived and worked in Santa Cruz in the 1950s and ’60s. The Etruscan style sterling vermeil cross pin / pendant necklace I am presenting is the last of that trove and a very classy duo as well. I am very particular with vermeil – I don’t really like it unless it is old and has mellowed almost to the point of … extinction yet here it has an understated matte finish that exudes a calm warmth. The workmanship on the pin/pendant is exceptional with layers of overlay accented by beading, wirework and the style’s telltale little florets. The torque itself is so elegant, I think I might be tempted to even wear it alone – yet it lends itself to being combined with other pendants as well…   Size/Weight: 15 1/4″ inner circumference (including the 1...

3.5″ Los Castillo Mexican silver koi fish Fur Pin Brooch with aqua glass

By in Mexican and Latin American, Pins/brooches |

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huge Mexican Deco silver repousse Pin Brooch ~ Matl style double rose with amethyst

By in Mexican and Latin American, Pins/brooches |

By definition romantic and delicate flowers in Mexican silver jewelry have a distinctly powerful presence that attracts the eye and holds the gaze captive. And when a piece is wrought in the Mexico City style of repoussage like the brooch at hand, those floral motifs acquire an earthy fleshiness that defies all notions of fragility and helplessness – just like the independent, daring female of the Deco revolution! The execution of the double roses in this pin reminds me a lot of the way Matilde Poulat treated her roses yet the tell-tale chasing is more discrete here and limited to the outer row of petals while the rest of the flowers as well as the thorny stems and leaves are more in line with Taxco’s version of the technique…   Size/Weight: 3 5/8″ tall by 3″ wide; 35.5 grams Hallmarks / Date: simply marked “MEXICO SILVER”; 1930s-40s Condition:...

Art Deco silver and carved Chinese medallions butterfly Pin Brooch

By in Pins/brooches, US/European, World |

Big and beautifully colored Art Deco sterling silver brooch that brings together three old Chinese medallions carved in the shape of a butterfly and lotus flowers. When I first saw this piece, I thought the translucent white butterfly medallion to be quartz while the smaller, cabochon-shaped floral carvings amethyst yet all three register in the jadeite area on my, very basic admittedly, Presidium gem tester. Definitely an early 20th c. brooch as attested to by the clasp’s pin that protrudes beyond the sterling frame, this is a very airy piece, its delicate lightness enhanced by the subtle colors in the stones and the winged creature it represents…   Size/Weight: 2 5/8″ long by 1″ wide; 15.2 grams Hallmarks / Date: “STERLING”; first decades of 20th c. Condition: excellent vintage with beautiful colors in the carved medallions that are free of chips,...

modernist Mexican silver copper figural Brooch and Earrings set ~ Taxco mixed metals

By in Mexican and Latin American, Pins/brooches, Rings/earrings |

Definitely bought as a set yet signed by two different makers the figural brooch and matching earrings at hand combine silver with copper , overlay and cut-outs, oxidation and wirework ornamentation. Modernist in its rendition of an ancient warrior or priest, the design, if I am not mistaken, can be found with the Los Castillo or Victoria’s signature on it as well yet here it is made by listed but “less celebrated” maestros. What I like about this demi is not just its careful crafting and generous weight – this is not a cheaply made copy – but also the wonderful patina the metals have acquired over time…   Size/Weight: brooch is 2 7/8″ tall by 1 3/4″ wide (at its widest); earrings are 1 3/8″ tall by 3/4″ wide; 36.5 grams (for the set) Hallmarks / Date: brooch is signed with maker’s initials “MPO” as well as...

Hector Aguilar Taller Borda Mexican silver repousse Pin Brooch

By in Mexican and Latin American, Pins/brooches |

Vintage 1940s Hector Aguilar silver repousse floral brooch in what I believe to be a squash blossom design which might even have been created by Valentin Vidaurreta. There are several variations of the motif that can be found in various sizes and weights – during the short period in the 1940s when Coro had their jewelry made in Aguilar’s workshop due to the war restrictions, brooches like this albeit lighter were also made for the American market and stamped with Coro’s Mexican hallmark. The example at hand, however, bears Aguilar’s Taller Borda hallmark…   Size/Weight:3 1/8″ tall by 2 3/8″ wide; 23.1 grams Hallmarks / Date: fully signed with Aguilar’s Taller Borda initials as shown as well as “STERLING” and “MADE IN MEXICO”; please note that although original to the piece from what I can tell, the pin seems to be...