This large blue Topaz bracelet is vintage Mexican style and although it is not marked, it is made of sterling silver. I have never seen one with this particular design, but it is clearly old Mexican,probably1930’s-‘40’s. The heavy, complex design is quite unusual, but has a definite royalty about its style. The closure is a pin-type that mimics the hinge mechanisms to make it disappear when closed. When I run my fingers over each one of the sparkling blue quartz stones, I can feel no irregularities, and can see none. They are in great shape. In fact, the entire bracelet is in excellent vintage condition and is truly a collector’s piece. It measures 7” inside circumference and is 1-1/4” wide. It weighs 71.4 grams.
Margot van Voorhies Carr, better known as Margot de Taxco was one of the premier silver artists of Taxco during the Mexican silver renaissance which took place from the 1920’s until the 1970’s. She was incredibly talented, making beautiful detailed drawings of her designs before they were executed. Those drawings were as well-done as her finished pieces of her complex designs. She had her own shop from 1948 to 1978 and had about 300 artisans and workers working for her. The foreman who supervised all of the artisans in her shop was Melesio Rodriguez, who worked for her from the 1948-1978 when she closed her shop. At that time, she gave him several of her priceless molds, which he uses showing her design number. This bracelet was made by Melesio from one of those molds. Although it is not vintage, it was made from the vintage mold of this extraordinary artist, Margot de Taxco. This distinctive clamper is fabulously elegant in its presentation of dimensional whorls, feathers, and lines hand wrought by Melesio, who is a well-known master silver artisan and still makes jewelry in Mexico today. This bracelet is one of the finest in design and workmanship I have ever seen. The deeply repoussed pattern carefully sweeps around from the front focal point of large dimensional whorls to incised lines and little “u’s” running from the side to the spring in back. This powerful design is accented with a dark patina that emphasizes the profoundly elegant and superb artistry of this piece. . The bracelet is marked, “ Melesio Rodriguez, 950, Taxco, Mexico, TR-11-1, 408”. This hallmark is noted in "The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks" by Billy Hougart. The inside circumference is approximately 7”, with the widest point at the front of 3”, tapering to about 1” in the back. It weighs 79.3 grams. The spring is very tight and the bracelet is in perfect condition
This handsome vintage Mexican sterling silver necklace is exquisitely designed with a motif reminiscent of pre-Columbian or Aztec symbols. This piece has an incredibly custom fit that hugs the neck because rather than the sections splaying out to be totally horizontal, it has a slight pitch so that the inside circle is smaller than the outside edge. The patina is bright, yet has the warmth of worn sterling. It is a superior piece with immaculate craftsmanship, perfectly fitting links, and extremely accurate alignment. It is marked. “Mexico 925, N-M”. This mark could be an item made for Neiman-Marcus. Stanley Marcus and William Spratling became acquainted in the early 1940’s, and Spratling consequently designed and supplied silver items to Neiman-Marcus. I don’t know if this is correct or not, but it is plausible. The necklace measures slightly over 14” on the inside curve and approximately 17” on the outside. The links are about ½” wide x 7/8” long x 1/8” thick. It weighs an impressive 113.5 grams. I believe each link was cast and finished by hand. The invisible pin joints that connect one link to the next is a subtle and uncluttered finishing touch. The tongue-and-box-clasp snap tightly. The necklace is in excellent vintage condition with normal scratches for a piece this old. (I’m estimating that it is circa mid-late 1940’s.) This is truly a collection piece that is contemporary, elegant, and timeless.
This striking brooch designed with a goldstone bezel-set cabochon is truly a piece de resistance in Mexican silver artistry. It can either be worn as a pendant or a brooch, but either way, this exceptional piece took untold hours to make and finish with such fine detail. This magnificent pendant/brooch was fabricated with meticulous detail by remarkably gifted and experienced hands. The detail has very small silver wire wound very tightly to form tiny spirals intercepted by larger "v" shapes. The background for the shapes and the outer circle were cut by hand from one piece of silver sheet. These elements and the bail and clasp were soldered in place to make a spectacular and incomparable piece of jewelry. The hallmark reads, "Hecho en Mexico DF 0.925, RN, Eagle 206". In Billie Hougart's book, The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks, she shows that "Eagle 206" and script initials, "RJ", is attributed to TANE Orfebres which is a prominent silver house in Mexico City that sold the work of many famous silversmiths under the trade name, "TANE". It was established in 1953 which is about the date I would attribute this phenomenal piece to. The hallmark reads, "Hecho en Mexico DF 0.925, RN, Eagle 206". In Billie Hougart's book, "The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks", she shows that "Eagle 206" and script initials, "RJ", is attributed to TANE Orfebres which is a prominent silver house in Mexico City that sold the work of many famous silversmiths under the trade name, "TANE". It was established in 1953.
This extraordinary sterling vintage Mexican bracelet is an estate piece that characterizes the classic style and beauty produced by the old masters of Mexico. These early works have a persona that is unlike anything you will find made today. This bracelet was painstakingly cut, engraved, and fabricated entirely by hand evidenced by the slight differences in the engraved areas. The amethyst stones are polished cabochons bezel-set in the center of each exquisite panel. The panels are breathtaking in rhythm, size, and general impressive impact. The etched design, along with flourishes at each corner and tiny silver balls, are repeated with 3 large silver balls at each hinge. The only markings are, “Silver, Mexico”, placing it prior to the Eagle assay system placing it prior to 1948. I would estimate it to be early 1940’s. It measures 6-1/4” wearable length and each link is 1-3/8” wide. It weighs 55.6 grams. This fabulous bracelet is in excellent vintage condition with the tongue-in-box clasp working perfectly. In fact, it has a secondary snap guard that keeps it safely closed. This luxurious piece is worthy of collecting.
This heavily adorned pendent is old and from Tibet. It was handcrafted by a Tibetan artisan of silver and shell. Even the back side is very ornately repoussed. It is accented by a custom-designed necklace of silk ribbons and silver bugles. It is a unique and extraordinary piece. The pendant is 2-1/2" diameter and about 3" with the bail. The necklace is 28" long and goes over your head.
The cross is seen in many varieties and versions in the Americas, but the Yalalag Cross is one of the most ornate and legendary. The Yalalag Cross comes from San Juan Yalalag, Sierra de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico and its basic design predates the Conquest. It consists of a central cross with three lesser crosses hanging from the main cross. The decorative elements in the design can be geometric, which is usually Indian – or with wings, hearts, and flowers, which is more Christian symbology. A cross with two arms in the upper half is called a Patriarchal Cross. This Yalalag silver cross has an amethyst cabochon bezel-set in the center and surrounded by curled wire and highly decorative flowerettes. This motif continues throughout the large cross and to the lesser crosses and even the ornate bail. The hallmark reads, “Mexico, Taxco, 925, SDO” and Eagle 3.This artist is mentioned in Bille Hougart's book, “The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks”. This is a fabulous piece of jewelry and art history. It was hand wrought entirely by hand by this artist, SDO, and is circa 1940's-1950’s. It measures 4” tall x 2” wide at the widest point, and weighs 19.8 grams with the chain and 11.3 without it. This is a rare and beautiful cross with a great charm because of its origins. .
This elegant yet simple bracelet features a braided rope design and is a prime example of the fine Mexican craftsmanship that experienced notoriety during the 1930's-'40's because of the William Spratling influence and patronage. Spratling fostered an industry in Taxco, but the concept spread throughout several cities in Mexico. Fine silver jewelry craftsmanship was raised to a supreme level that is emulated still. This magnificent bracelet can be adjusted to fit just about any wrist, and is thick, wide, and weighs a substantial 35.5 grams. It is impeccably constructed with channels and crevices set off by black niello. This technique makes the patterns in the braid more prominent and accentuates the textural quality of the design. It is marked "925", and probably pre-1948 because of no Eagle mark nor letter-numbering system shown. This design is very similar to a Hector Aguilar bracelet. The bracelet measures approximately 7" long end-to-end and is 1" wide, with a 1/4" opening which can vary depending on your wrist size. It is in excellent vintage condition. This is a stunning and hefty piece that is bound to get noticed!
This old Navajo ring has the most extraordinary turquoise stone. It really looks like a turquoise jasper stone, but I'm not sure exactly what it is only that it is truly different and in very good condition. It measures a little over a size 6-1/2, closer to a 6-3/4. It is marked, "Sterling", but has no maker's mark. I'm placing it at about circa 1950-60.
Here is a heavily adorned bracelet with six ornate links, each with a carved green stone face of a warrior. I believe the stones are Mexican jade. This lovely piece has beautifully-crafted, very florid and graceful scrolling pattern behind each bezel-set cabochon. It is simply marked, “sterling, Mexico”, which is typical of the earliest silver work done in Mexico during this period. It is, however, almost identical to one I have seen by Patino, an artisan who produced very fine work during this period. I would date it circa early 1940’s. This piece is a very early example of the incredible design and craftsmanship produced during the halcyon years of the Mexican silver renaissance when all silverwork was created without electronic tools. The piece weighs 41.3 grams, is 7” wearable length, and is 1-1/4” wide. The clasp is a simple tongue and box which fastens securely. This bracelet is the result of the renaissance that emanated from Taxco and flourished from the 1920's-1960's in several cities throughout Mexico. Beginning in the 1920's, the silver artisans of Mexico rose to a new definition of perfection in design and craftsmanship as the result of the strong influence and patronage of William Spratling, a talented architect and designer who engendered a city of tallers and jewelers in Taxco during that time. Mexico City also had a rich history of early tallers. The bracelet shows some wear around the settings and some are not perfectly true. It has the usual scratches and patina of a piece that is some 80 years old. It is quite beautiful and a stunning addition for anyone who appreciates historical Mexican silver artistry. It is in good vintage condition with only two minor dings on the silver balls that are barely noticeable.
This distinctly elegant brooch was made by one of the Mexican silver masters, Serafin Moctezuma. He was known as a very skilled artist as seen in the impeccable execution of this brooch. This exquisite piece is a lyrical shape of leaves and a bezel-set amethyst stone. It very 3-dimensional because the leaves and stems undulate and swirl on several planes. The leaves are incised at the bottom of the brooch and pierced or cut out on the top leaf, lending interest and contrast to the design. The absence of the Eagle Assay mark dates this piece is circa 1930's-1940's. It measures 2-3/4" on the longest dimension and is 1-1/2" at the widest point. It weighs 13.7 grams. It is marked, "Hecho en Mexico, 925" in a circle with "SM" in the center and "Taxco" outside the circle. This is the mark of Serafin Moctezuma, a contemporary of William Spratling. The silversmiths of this era in Taxco were known for their unequalled design and craftsmanship. Their worked became sought-after all over the world and brought fame to the tiny village of Taxco. Most of these masters are no longer living, so their work is even more collectible. The roll clasp is secure and works well. It is very striking and is obviously quite old, but is in excellent vintage condition with no visible damage at all. This is a highly collectible piece.
This is a great example of Taxco silver artistry by Juan Sandoval Vazquez. His mark, TS-79 is noted by Mexican silver experts and authors, Penny Morrill and Carol Berk, in their book, Mexican Silver. The design on this piece has a distinct Pre-Columbian style and symbology. It also is very similar to a VOO and Ledesma design. The motif relates an Aztec or Mayan headdress in a stylized, graphic sense, achieving great dimension by layering various cutwork silver pieces. The piece can be worn as either a pendant or brooch and has a bail and roll clasp on the back. The craftsmanship on this stunning piece is quite skilled and the design is a very creative rendition of historical themes. In addition to the cutwork, there are silver balls punctuating the design in several places, as well as on three hanging pendants at the bottom. It measures 2” across and the main piece is 1-1/4 tall, and including the pendants, it measures 2” tall. It weighs 26.3 grams. The numbering system replaced the Eagle assay system in 1948, so this piece is post 1948. It is striking and bold and is in good vintage condition with typical wear shown on a piece this old. This is definitely a stellar collection piece.