Facebook

Elna Mexican Deco silver and stone Pin Brooch ~ portrait of a Mandarin

By in Brooches, Mexican and Latin American |

Elna is a name in Mexico’s 20th c. Silver Renaissance I have learned to look for over the years. We don’t really know much about them – what is new, right? – but my experience with their jewelry allows me to say that their creations are more often than not impressive in proportions, the quality of materials used very high, their craftsmanship commendable and their designs quite pleasing to the eye. In the case of the figural brooch at hand Elna veers away from traditional Mexican “mask” jewelry into the realm of 1930s-40s stereotypical representations of the “Far East”. Carved out of dyed calcite the portrait of the obviously Asian man is shown wearing a 19th c. Chinese mandarin hat, his eyes rendered in the most exaggerated manner, holding a proverbial fan…   Size / Weight: 3″ tall by 2″ wide; 40.5 grams Hallmarks...

Chato Castillo for Ingrid’s Mexican silver fan Pendant Necklace

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

The signatures of Chato Castillo and Ingrid’s combine on this exquisite Mexican Deco silver fan pendant necklace – neither is a a common occurrence and both are synonymous with imaginative design and high quality. Chato is reported to have been the driving adventurous force behind most of the Los Castillo innovations – the revival of ancient techniques, the experimentation with materials – while Ingrid’s still remains among the elusive early Taxco retailers. Monumental in its proportions, the pendant is inspired by motifs of the Spanish Colonial tradition, with heart cut-outs, floral overlay and beading. The chain I have paired it with matches those proportions perfectly and even though not Mexican and of a later period, it looks as if it was always meant to be part of the necklace…   Size / Weight: pendant is 3″ tall (without the bail) by...

Enrique Ledesma Mexican silver modernist Earrings

By in Mexican and Latin American, Rings/earrings |

Made in the 1950s-60s this set of modernist Enrique Ledesma earrings is circular in shape with oxidized “niello”-type backgrounds on which figural appliqués have been affixed. I read these birds as ducks but they might be pelicans (even though the motif is more frequent in Peruvian jewelry of the same period). Ledesma’s figurals have a child-like quality sometimes and I think we are looking at one of those cases here. The oxidation on the pair is in excellent shape (please excuse the reflections!) and the set such a treat to the eyes and easy to wear…   Size / Weight: just shy of 1″ in diameter; 13.5 grams (for the set) Hallmarks / Date:  fully signed with Ledesma’s signature alongside Eagle 3 and des. No 12; 1950s-60s Condition: excellent vintage, sweet in size and easy to wear, with great patina, their oxidation in very good shape and no damage or repairs noted...

Tono Piedra Negra Mexican silver figural Pin Brooch

By in Mexican and Latin American, Pins/brooches |

A “piedra negra” Mexican silver brooch by Tono, one of the best in the technique, this is a sweet, smaller in size example . Tono designed many pieces with / for Cecilia but one can find his work without the latter’s signature as well. Here there is a second set of initials, that of “AG”, one of those maestros about whom we don’t know much but whose name can often be seen on Cecilia/Tono jewelry. What I love about this little brooch is the open mouth of the figure – you can’t see it against the black background but the opening goes all the way through. Is this a cry of anguish? Is it surprise? I don’t seem able to make up my mind…   Size / Weight: 1  1/8” tall by 1  1/2 wide (at its widest);  12.6 grams; excellent condition with good patina; your price $80 Hallmarks / Date: signed as shown with both the technique’s name as well as the two maestros’ marks, and des. no...

Mexican Deco silver and carved sheen obsidian “mask” Pendant

By in Mexican and Latin American, Necklaces |

Golden sheen obsidian and beautifully aged sterling silver combine in this eye-catching, Mexican Deco pendant. In the style closely associated with the Los Ballesteros workshop, the pendant is signed by a little known Taxco maestro whose initials can also be found on Tono/Cecilia jewelry, which in itself bespeaks the quality of his work. Here, it is not just the beautiful carving of an equally beautiful piece of volcanic glass that makes the pendant visually impressive; it is also the unusual turban-shaped headdress with its textured finish and the long, slender feathers that rise off it and come together in a curl high above the head. And just look at those amazing dangling earrings…   Size / Weight: 3  5/8” tall (including the dangles) by 1  5/8” wide (at its widest); 34.5 grams Hallmarks / Date: maker’s initials “AG” as well as “TAXCO STERLING 925” and Eagle 3 assay mark;...