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long 1950s Mexican silver and pre-Colombian azurite mask Pendant Necklace

on Dec 7, 2018 in archived

Put together around the middle of the 20th c. in Jalisco, one of Mexico’s major silversmithing centers, the long pendant necklace I am presenting here combines a variety of materials in a way that is very typical of the 1950s. I suspect, however, that the carved azurite mask that takes center stage here is an ancient, pre-Colombian artifact which was, at the time of the necklace’s fashioning, treated to a “fresh” coat of glaze. Though I do not claim any kind of expertise in Aztec and Maya archeology, the workmanship on the mask reminds me of other, similar pieces I have had in the past that had been untreated so their age could be ascertained more easily. And it does have striking similarities to a Los Castillo example I sold recently which featured a turquoise mask. I love this necklace not only because of the stone mask but also because the brass, copper and silver beads that have been used to make the chain as well as the green and brown rondelles (stone or glass?) reflect the variety of coloration in the mask itself. Definitely a one-of-a-kind necklace…

 

Size/Weight: 30 1/2″ long; stone mask is 2 1/8″ wide and adds a 1 5/8″ drop to the chain; bead elements vary in width between 7/16″ and 3/17″; 88.3 grams

Hallmarks / Date: maker’s initials “AVN” as well as “JAL MEXICO” with Eagle 2 assay mark; 1950s

Condition: excellent vintage with a very sculptural mask that is free of damage yet has pooling glaze mostly around the mouth and nostrils (easily removable, should you feel the need to do it), featuring a wonderfully glowing with patina combination of silver, brass and copper beads and stone rondelles, with just the occasional ding in the spheres that is to be anticipated and does not really take away from the necklace’s beauty

 

 

SOLD – Thank you!

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