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..
Here is an extraordinary bracelet that is wide and shiny and commands attention. The outside has shapes like leaves cut out from the copper outside layer. Next is wire, and then the solid copper back. This bracelet is a fine piece of vintage jewelry. It is in very good vintage condition. It measures 6-1/2” circumference with a 1” opening and 2” wide.
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.
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.
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.
This is a magnificent large brooch that is a real statement piece because of the pristine quality of the stone, the enormous size, and the simple understated design. This piece was done by Eunice Ruddy who signed her work with an “E” inside a mushroom shape. This piece is so-marked along with the stamp of “Sterling” on the back. She called her works, “Euniques” and trademarked them in 1977, but only lived until 1984, so I’m not sure how much of her work is out there. This brooch is incredibly well-crafted and an absolutely superb work by way of its” less-is-more” design and the most beautiful piece of malachite I have ever seen. It is a very large cabochon, bezel-set inside a flat rim that is an extension of the back. It measures 1-1/2” diameter X ½” high. The stone itself shows ¼” above the bezel. It weighs a substantial 34.8 grams. It is in perfect vintage condition with no damage on the silver or the stone and the roll clasp works perfectly. This piece dates sometime prior to 1980 and is a fabulous work of art.
This is one of the most feminine pieces I've seen like this. The colors are pink with soft green and white abstract on each of 6 links. It is very much like the Matisse enamel bracelets I've seen and in excellent vintage condition. It is circa 1950's. It is 8" long and the links are 1/2" wide. It has been well cared for as I don't note any chips or cracks or any damage whatsoever. Perfect for summer!
The flourishes that cover the face of this important piece were chased by hand by an obviously excellent silver maestro. It is marked, " AHS, plata, 0.925" inside a circle, Hecho en Guerrero". The mark is documented by Bille Hougart in his book, The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks”. The work is impeccable and the entire buckle is a work of art. It is circa 1930's-early 1940's. This piece could be work by either sex as it is narrow enough to fit a man's wardrobe yet beautiful enough to appeal to a woman. It is a slide through, double back and tighten type of buckle. Since it is silver, you could use any color leather with it and it will look sophisticated and fashionable. It measures almost 3" long X 1" wide X 1/2" at widest depth. It weighs 26.3 grams.
This strand is a beautifully aged and is a exemplary example of African pipestone beads. They also have several types of old silver hollow beads that intersect at several places to make this necklace exquisite. It is at least 1960 or before. The center silver bead is about 5/8” in diameter and all the others are varied in size. The strand is 24” long with a hook and eye clasp, and has stretched a little from age, but can be tightened at the clasp. This is a treasure for someone who appreciates old ethnic artwork.
This vintage Mexican silver ring has a beautiful fan-shaped or fluted pattern. It is simple, yet elegant and looks beautiful on. The hallmarks are, "CF", which is a silversmith mentioned in Bille Hougart's book, The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks. It is approximately a size 5-1/2-6. Although it looks very heavy, it weighs 12.2 grams and is very comfortable on. Dome-type rings are difficult to size eactly, and typically have a slight range of size because of the hollow area under the dome. This piece was cast in the lost wax method as seen by the ridges and texture of the inside of the dome. I would date it to the '60's for its style and wear. It has the typical wear of a vintage piece. It is in excellent condition and only has small scratches. It would be something you will want to wear often!
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.
This bracelet is important because the enamel colors are phosphorescent and glow with an unusual depth. It looks like a Renoir/Matisse, but is not marked. It features 5 links with greenish yellow, pink, and aqua blue on a black background. The jump rings are brass and connect each link in two places. The back is also enameled, which gives it a very finished look. The copper links are very good vintage condition and the clasp is strong. There are a few tiny nibbles on the edge, but nothing really noticeable when worn. It measures about 8-1/2” around and each link is 1-1/2” X 1-1/2”. This is a bracelet that will receive lots of compliments and sure to please!