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massive Santana Mexican silver and black onyx Bracelet ~ Spanish Colonial armband

By in archived |

Known for his monumental Spanish Colonial-inspired designs maestro Santana is one of the many enigmatic figures in Mexico’s 20th c. Silver Renaissance. His jewelry, when one is lucky to come upon it, looks as if it’s made of the most intricate Spanish lace. Wide armbands, like here, that seem to want to be cuffs on a lady’s silk dress rather than sterling bracelets and equally breath-taking necklaces, their panels meticulously and profusely worked in cut-work to create labyrinthine patterns; that is his legacy but that’s also where our knowledge of him unfortunately stops. I will therefore let the twists and twirls of the cut-work in the armband at hand to tell the rest of the story. After all, for most of us, admiring them is the closest to their maker we will ever come…   Size/Weight: approx. 7″ wearable (measured mid-way up the...

Mexican Deco silver carved amethyst hand and tulip Pin Brooch

By in Mexican and Latin American, Pins/brooches |

Possibly the most “classic” in the Mexican Deco jewelry design index, the “hand and tulip” is steeped in the Spanish Colonial tradition and in its 20th c. revival closely associated with William Spratling. Beloved in the Victorian era, the specific design seems to enjoy timeless appeal on both sides of the Atlantic and in its Mexican version instead of a rose, the hand proffers a carved amethyst tulip. Executed en repoussage and anonymous in our case, it ends in an ornate “lace” cuff that seems to be emerging from a sea of satin ribbon…   Size/Weight: 2 1/4″ long by 1 3/8″ wide (at the ribbon part); 20.3 grams Hallmarks / Date: simply marked “STERLING MEXICO”; pre-1948 Condition: excellent vintage with a big, rich purple carved amethyst, very nicely executed repoussage, with no damage in the stone nor the silver...