Facebook

Carmen Beckmann Mexican silver and black opal Ring

By in archived |

As rare-as-can-be not just for its signature but also for the black opal baguettes it showcases, this vintage Mexican silver architectural ring was created by Carmen Beckmann. Beckmann is reported in the literature to have worked primarily in the 1950s and 1960s in San Miguel de Allende and her jewelry can vary from inspired to simply good. When she was at her most creative though, she made pieces that are to die for! This ring is, in my opinion, one of those moments of hers. It’s as if its stark sterling geometry, strong and imposing, was put there to protect the tiny little fires burning in the depths of the black opal tiles forming the ring’s square face. If you are looking for the rare, the unusual and the unique, look no further…   Size / Weight: sz 8.75 US; face is 7/8″ square; 1/4″ rise; 13.1 grams Hallmarks / Date: fully signed with...

Carmen Beckmann Mexican silver amethyst “daggers” Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

One of the few female designers and silversmiths who contributed to Mexico’s 20th c. Silver Renaissance that we know about, Carmen Beckmann is reported in the literature to have worked primarily in the 1950s and 1960s in San Miguel de Allende. I am not sure if this is indeed the case, at least in terms of the dates when she was active and I only say this because many of the pieces by her that I have seen bore hallmarks that would indicate a pre-1948 date of crafting. This might be one of the field’s many questions – hopefully further research will afford us some more concrete answers. The necklace I am presenting here, however, is a creation of the 1950s-60s as its Eagle assay mark proves. Rather rare and one of her most impressive designs, it is comprised of an unexpected combination: silver overlay links with deeply chased details and beading alternate with carved...

rare Carmen Beckmann Mexican silver stone “frogs” Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

Sterling overlay and three-dimensional stone frogs turn this Carmen Beckmann necklace into a small sculpture gallery around the neck! One of the few known to us female contributors to Mexico’s 20th c. Silver Renaissance albeit active a little later than the beginnings of the big Mexico City and Taxco workshops, she was based in San Miguel de Allende in the 1950s and 1960s and that is where she created most of her jewelry. Quite often borrowing motifs from Spratling’s earlier pieces, Beckmann’s jewelry can be inspired when she is at her best or simply interesting. The “frogs” necklace with its animal links separated by all-silver pre-Colombian floral stations is one of her most coveted creations. Patina, the stone’s soothing greens, the hand-made quality of the chain and the minimalist rendition of flora and fauna combine in a necklace that...

Carmen Beckmann Mexican silver “saddle” Ring with malachite

By in archived |

Carmen Beckmann is one of my favorite designers of vintage Mexican silver jewelry. Not very prolific and one of the few female contributors to Mexico’s 20th c. Silver Renaissance, she worked in San Miguel de Allende in the 1960s-80s and her jewelry reflect an interesting array when it comes to originality of design and creativity. The piece at hand is a variation on the classic “saddle ring” only the malachite is flat-cut and the gallery is more embellished than the ones found in most rings of this kind. The saturated hues of green in the stone accent the black striations while the wire-work of the setting makes for an easy, cool ring that can be enjoyed whatever the occasion…   Size/Weight: sz 6.5 US (could be resized by your jeweler with no fear of losing the hallmarks); face is 1″ E-W by 1/2″ N-S; 8.8 grams Hallmarks / Date: signed with...

Carmen Beckmann Mexican silver and amethyst geometric Necklace

By in archived |

Laconic yet eye-catching a Carmen Beckmann Mexican silver modernist necklace adorned with bezel-set amethyst cabochons. The stones are set in such a way as to almost completely hide the “seam” where two adjacent links come together and their color is rich and luscious. The links themselves, like elongated pyramids with cut-work, are minimally adorned with a chased and oxidized line and the necklace is perfectly articulated. This is the second in a set of similar pieces I acquired last year – the first one sold some time ago and it’s now time to present its pair…   Size/Weight: 16 1/2″ long (wearable; once clasped, it becomes a little roomier by about 1/4″ or so); 5/8″ at its widest; 85.0 grams Hallmarks / Date: maker’s signature as shown as well as “MEXICO STERLING”; 1960s-70s Condition: excellent vintage with...