A Veritable Wearable art Jewelry, Crafted in Oxidized Sterling Silver.
From my personal collection-- –There is something about a handcrafted Sterling Silver jewelry that has always been very appealing to me. I began collecting designer handmade silver jewelry in my youth and am still quite attracted to it. In mid 1960's, I “discovered “ unique designer handmade sterling silver jewelry of MASKIT- sold in very limited editions. At that time, MASKIT was the foremost, Israel’s cottage-industry store chain (please see the story below).
The beautiful, all-in-one, brooch/pendant/necklace , purchased in Maskit, was a welcome gift from a friend in the late 1960’s. It is designed and hand-made by an Israeli artist in sterling silver. The design, is a veritable wearable art, crafted in an oxidized sterling silver. Its slightly dimensional abstract form is quite versatile when worn horizontally or vertically as a brooch, or vertically as a pendant/necklace. The twisted rope chain is made of sterling silver. The back of the brooch/pendant shows signs of oxidation as well. The silver oxidation on jewelry, in addition to adding an additional dimension to the design, preserves it from being tarnished.
In Israel , marking of sterling silver is not obligatory. Nowadays, some of the silver works are marked according to the international standards but it’s still voluntary. In 1960’s, when this wearable art piece was made, being not obligatory, there were no markings or signatures on sterling silver jewelry, in particular that which was hand made and designed by artisans, as is the case here. Moreover, having been tested, this piece is made of 925 Sterling Silver.
About Maskit: In the 1950’s , there was a huge immigration to the young State of Israel , bringing with it, among others , a multitude of artisans from all over the world. The growing population and, with it, a growing unemployment, created a considerable economical hardship on the infant country. Since the immigrants brought with them considerable artisan skills from their native countries, an idea of creating a cottage industry with a commercial center for their products was born. Ruth Dayan, the then wife of Gen. Moshe Dayan, undertook the challenge and the first MASKIT store was born. Beginning with the incredibly skilled silversmiths from Yemen and other north African countries, famous for their characteristic jewelry and silver and gold works and the women from those country- famous for their traditional embroidery and weaving , the cottage industry began flourishing. Many other Maskit stores were opened in the cities of Israel and , growing very rapidly, they began to include in their products the works of Israeli born artists, graduates of the famous Bezalel Arts Academy. MASKIT became a go -to gift store for the tourists and the Israelis alike. Eventually, the cottage industry was replaced by art galleries, art centers and new silver works centers and MASKIT, having changed its direction, become a couture fashion brand.
DIMENSIONS: Pendant/brooch-3 ¼” long x 2” wide. Chain: 30” long. Weight: 35 grams.
MATERIALS: 925 Sterling Silver
VINTAGE AND CONDITION: Purchased in 1960's, the brooch/pendant was infrequently worn and it is in an excellent vintage condition, with no visible scratches or damage. It had not been worn in the last 30 years and was very carefully stored in a tarnish retardant lined drawer of my jewelry armoire. It will be shipped in an elegant jewelry gift box.
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