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.
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 unusual and elegant brooch was made by one of the Mexican silver masters who worked for Estela Popowski and signed his pieces, “AE” inside a heart-shaped “M”. Popowski’s taller was in Mexico City, beginning about the early-mid 1950’s. This design has also been done by Ana Nunez Brilianti, "Victoria". The design of this piece is a beautiful flower and leaves, with the leaves folded over part of the flower – a very striking design. The center has 6 small silver balls denoting the stamen of the flower. It addition to the, maker’s mark, it marked “Sterling Mexico”. The brooch measures 1-9/16” long x 1-3/8” wide, and weighs 10.8 grams. The artist who crafted this was very skilled because the piece is impeccably executed. It was cut from silver sheet and incised with detail of the flower. The center balls and the clasp were soldered in place. It is in excellent vintage condition with no visible damage, and the clasp works perfectly. This is a highly collectible piece.
These sterling silver earrings are large and showy and were made by a Mexican silversmith sometime in the late ‘70’s-‘80’s. They are sculptural and dramatic and weigh 24.8 grams. They are marked, “925, TO-40, Mexico”. TO-40 is for Taxco artist Judith Cuervo Ortiz. They are worn with the pointed end down and measure2-3/4” tip-to-tip and are almost 1” wide at the widest point. The design is bold and they are definitely a statement piece.
This distinctly elegant brooch was made by a known Mexican silver master, Lico. The impeccable execution of this brooch substantiates the skill of the artist who created it. This exquisite piece is a lyrical shape of swirls and suggestion of leaves, and is very 3-dimensional. It measures 2-3/4" on the longest dimension and is 1-1/2" at the widest point. It weighs gram 12.1 grams. It is marked, "Sterling, Lico, Taxco, 925". It is circa 1940’s. 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 part of the clasp is missing, but it still works as a clasp. It is very striking and is obviously quite old, but is in excellent vintage condition.
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.
An uncommon style with certain panache is how I would describe the character of this eye-catching bracelet. The six panels host oval green onyx cabochons set with tiny twisted silver wire at the base of each one. Each of the links is embellished with six circles of silver and silver braided wire. While this is 800 silver, it has a great warmth and appeal. It is marked, “Hecho en Mexico, Guard, Jal”, and the artist’s initials “EGS”. Guad is Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. I would estimate this to be early 1940’s with the lack of an Eagle assay mark. It measures a little over 7” wide wearable length X 1-1/4” wide. It is in very good vintage condition. This bracelet has a very tailored and fashionable look and would be a classical addition for any collector.
This antique Peruvian Sterling silver link bracelet is a treasure of the artistry of an old Peruvian silversmith. Each link is covered with incised pattern and texture and depicts various figures of Inca legends, including an Inca warrior, Viracocha, and an Eagle. There is a pre-Incan legend that speaks of Viracocha who is depicted in many forms. Viracocha, as the feathered serpent god, is one of the great mysteries of ancient American cultures. He was called Kukulkan by the Mayas, Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs, Viracocha by the Incas, Gucumatz in Central America, Votan in Palenque and Zamna in Izamal. It is probably circa 1930's-'40's. The design and the way the links are curved and connected to each other is quite remarkable. The hallmarks are, "925, Peru, AS”. It weighs a massive 71.1 grams. Each of the 5 links is approximately 1-7/8” long x 1-3/8” wide, making the total wearable length approximately 7”. The tongue and box closure fasten with a positive “snap. This unusual and spectacular bracelet is in excellent condition and does not appear to have any damage. This is an amazing piece of Peruvian silver artistry and a true collector’s item.
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 antique bracelet and earrings are made in the traditional Mexican "coffee bean" style with green half moon stones. The coffee bean style is made from silver domes that have been mashed in the center with a narrow tool. This sterling bracelet has 8 links, with alternating stones set in silver with rows of small silver balls, and the coffee bean "flower" motif in between. It has a pair of matching earrings that are screw backs. The bracelet is marked, "Taxco, 925" and the earrings, "silver, Mexico". They are most likely from the 1940's because of the markings and the typical wear. I'm not sure of the stone, but think it could be Lucite or some other synthetic material used in that era. This is a very nice set and the clasp on the bracelet works well.
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.
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.