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Giles Mexican Deco silver and turquoise Pendant Necklace ~ massive carved “warrior mask”

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Not much is known about maestro (N) Giles of Taxco. It seems that many of his pieces were sold at Plateria Rancho Alegre and since, according to Bille Hougart, not all of his jewelry was signed, a good part of his work might have been lost to us. It only takes a look at the “mask’s” elaborate headdress, however, to realize that Giles was one of the accomplished maestros of his time. Bold, with intense features, the “Aztec warrior” is carved out of turquoise with rich veining that has been glazed once the carving was completed. Paired with a hefty, hand-made sterling silver chain the pendant is massive and, in my opinion, a work of wearable art. What impresses me more is the effect the veining in the stone has on the way the piece presents. The face looks as if behind cracked glass; as if it shatters time and space to reach the modern world from the other end of the...

Rancho Alegre Mexican silver zodiac Charm Bracelet ~ figural abalone inlay

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Bearing the signature of Rancho Alegre whose founder, Pedro Perez, worked as shop manager for William Spratling, this vintage Mexican silver zodiac charm bracelet was crafted by a listed yet still unidentified maker. Known for its high quality jewelry commissioned from some of the best Taxco maestros, Rancho Alegre opened its doors to the public in 1956 and stayed in business until 1985. Though zodiac jewelry were a favorite sub-genre within the world of Mexican silver jewelry with examples made by renowned and less celebrated makers alike, this specific version with its figural abalone inlay is more difficult to find. Formed by two rows of cushion-shaped hollow links, it has beaded accents on the link connectors and its disk charms represent all twelve astrological signs…   Size/Weight: 7 3/4″ long (wearable) by 1 3/4″ wide (including the drop of the charms);...

Miguel Martinez for Rancho Alegre Mexican silver modernist Pendant Necklace

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“Happy” Miguel Martinez modernist silver pendant necklace that the maestro created for Rancho Alegre, this is a piece generous in proportions and reveals – at least to me! – another facet of its creator’s rich personality. I have written before that Martinez is one of those Taxco modernists that collectors should zoom into. His talent is unbelievable not only in creating perfectly finished jewelry but also in working with gems and developing for them the most amazing settings. In the pendant necklace at hand, he tries his hand in a style that is closer to Ledesma’s vernacular yet the creature’s smiling face is so different. Please note that the pendant can be taken off the chain so you can easily combine the latter with another of your treasures…   Size/Weight: 22″ long (for the chain); pendant is 2 5/8″ tall by 2...

rare Miguel Martinez Rancho Alegre Mexican silver and gem pectoral Necklace

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Sublime Miguel for Rancho Alegre Mexican silver pectoral necklace featuring a sculptural blossom, its center occupied by an aqua blue faceted gem which registers in the spinel area of my tester. An incredibly talented modernist, Miguel Garcia Martinez tends to fare under the radar of many Mexican silver lovers who are not yet very well versed in the world of vintage Taxco jewelry. His work, however, is worthy of the best collections. His design is inspired; he has an uncanny ability to combine gleaming silver with sparkling faceted gems; his craftsmanship and attention to detail are unsurpassed and all of his creations that I have had over the years were impeccable, characterized by a refreshing originality. The necklace at hand is not only a pleasure to behold, it is also extremely comfortable to wear and sits perfectly around the neck because of its articulated construction. The rest...

Miguel Martinez Mexican silver Bracelet ~ exquisite Danish style repousse

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Exquisitely crafted Miguel Martinez vintage Mexican silver bracelet in a “flower and bead” design evocative of similar Danish jewelry, especially creations by George Jensen. I consider Martinez one of the most talented Taxco maestros and I particularly love his work that veers away from the “classic” Mexican design vernacular to explore Scandinavian naturalism, like here, or modernism. Perfectly finished, a dream to wear as its articulated construction allows the bracelet to conform to the wrist’s movement, this is a piece that defies the whims of time and fashion…   Size/Weight: 6  1/2″ long (wearable; total length is 7″ but there is a hook clasp); floral link at center front just shy of 2” tall by 1  1/8” wide; width at the chain varies between 7/8” (next to flower) and 1/2”; 39.0 grams Hallmarks / Date: fully hallmarked with...