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 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.
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.
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 is an extraordinary stylized ring artistically designed and produced with impeccable craftsmanship. With fine features of three-dimensional touches of tiny bars and topped by a dome of 14K gold, it is sure to gain comments and interest from those who appreciate style. It is marked, “Sterling” and what looks like it may be a “U” or “C”. It is a size 6. It is a narrow profile, so could be worn against another ring if you desire. I am placing it circa 1970’s. This is a lovely modernist piece.
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.
This incredibly striking brooch has a geometric sensibility and graphic presentation with a bezel-set black onyx stone as the focal point. The design of this piece is simple yet extremely bold with incised symbols in the silver surrounding the stone while the brass on each end is fashioned in a zigzag pattern which repeats again as the setting and escutcheon surrounding the stone. It is extremely well crafted and is probably from the ‘50’s-‘60‘s judging from its style. It is marked, “925”, on the back, but lacks a maker’s mark. It measures 2-1/8” long x 1-1/4” wide, and weighs 15.1 grams. The artist who crafted this was very skilled because the piece is impeccably executed. It was cut from silver sheet and incised with symbols on the silver. It is in excellent vintage condition with no visible damage, and the clasp works perfectly. This is a very unusual and highly collectible piece.
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 three lesser crosses are missing their tiny hanging pieces at the bottom, but it is still a fabulous piece of jewelry history and art. It was hand wrought entirely by a Mexican silver artisan. It measures 3-3/4” tall x 2-1/4” wide at the widest point, and weighs 16.1 grams. It is marked, "Mexico", and predates the Eagle Assay mark making it circa 193o's'40's. Although it doesn't say, it is sterling. This is a rare and beautiful cross to add to your collection..
This vintage Mexican silver cross is an intricate scrollwork design with a tiny silver ball in the center. It is very well-crafted, and probably dates to the late 1940’s to early ‘50’s. It is marked, "Sterling” and the Eagle 3. It looks like each of the cross arms was cast and then soldered together along with the clasp. One of the cross arms measures 2-1/2" and the other is 2" across, and weighs 12.4 grams. The clasp is in good working order and tapers to a very fine point. It is a stunning piece and is in good vintage condition.
Most Jerusalem Crosses have purple or pinkish stones, but a very nice blue stone is a “find”. This cross has the representative central cross with four surrounding smaller crosses. It is said that the Jerusalem cross represents Christ and the four Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the spread of Christianity from its origins in the Holy Land to the four corners of the earth. On the back are religious pictures and markings, “Jerusalem” and “900 silver”. The cross measures 1-7/8” X 1-7/8” and is quite beautiful.
This beautiful bypass ring is beautifully crafted and reminds me of the work of Los Castillo or Margot de Taxco, who worked for Los Castillo. Some of the silverwork that came from the Los Castillo studio bore the distinct style of Margot. This piece reminds me of one of those. It appears to be circa 1940’s. It is 1-3/4” long on the top and the width of the design is about 3/4”. It measures about a size 6, but can be enlarged to a size 7. The old maestros of Mexico left a legacy of fine silver artistry and craftsmanship behind as this ring, but unfortunately, much of the history of these old pieces is not captured because during this time. Much of the silver works were sold by weight, with little credit given to the artist and his or her accomplished craft. However, this one is marked by the artist “rs 925” in the center of a circle marked, “sterling, taxco mexico”. This artist is noted in Billie Hougart's book, “The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks”, (2006 edition). It is a beautiful design and is very well-crafted. There is no damage and it is in excellent vintage condition.
Here is one of the most unique bracelets I have ever seen. It was made by an artisan that was stamped by the government to show that it was part of the “ Industria Argentina” (Argentine Industry). It is also stamped “925” and is probably from the early 1930’s. It is a floral, ornate cutwork pattern with 4 solid silver ovals adorning the circle at equidistant intervals. The clasp mechanism is one I have never seen, which is shown in one photo. The bracelet itself has a spring character about it so that you simply squeeze it for the two locking “teeth” to fit into the appropriate spot between the cutout silver. It measures 1” wide X 8-1/2” open. Argentina has a vast heritage of mining precious metals and producing beautiful silver jewelry and vessels since before the conquistadors. Silversmiths arriving with the flood of artists and craftsmen from Portugal, Spain and Italy into Buenos Aires when it became the capital of a new Spanish viceroyalty in 1776 began a tradition that has been handed down from father to son and is very much alive today.