For sale here is a RARE and HUGE vintage 1940s handmade brass and ancient pre-Columbian clay relic statement brooch pin by American Annette Nancarrow during her years in Mexico. Centers a genuine ancient Mesoamerican clay relic in the range of 1000 to 2000 years old, which Nancarrow framed in brass with a brass back-plate, and added a feathered brass crown at front and a brass pocket at bottom to hold the relic in place while also filling a decorative function.
Annette Nancarrow (1907-1991) studied art at Hunter College in New York City and received her Masters in Fine Art from Columbia University. She is known for her paintings, murals, and unique jewelry designs. She lived in New York City early in her life, but spent many years in Acapulco and Mexico City. Nancarrow's jewelry was acquired by Frida Kahlo, Helena Rubinstein, Peggy Guggenheim, Elizabeth Arden, and Anais Nin (who wrote about her in her Diary, vol. 5). She was included, under the name "Annette de Stephens" (her married name at the time), in the landmark 1946 exhibit, Modern Handmade Jewelry, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This exhibit included the work of artists like Alexander Calder, Harry Bertoia, and Anni Albers, as well as many of the first generation of studio jewelers such as Margaret de Patta, Paul Lobel, and Sam Kramer. There is a wealth of information available about her online, and there is a book available about her paintings and other artwork, but nothing yet in detail about her jewelry.
The following information is from my personal experience and observations over the last 10 years or so that I've collected her work. Early on her original jewelry designs were one-of-a-kind unique items that usually included centuries-old clay relics and beads from pre-Columbian Mexico. She often heavily patinated the metal surfaces to make her pieces look in keeping with the ancient clay relics that were usually their centerpieces. Later in her career she licensed her jewelry designs to Casa Maya. Those later pieces were made in multiples and some included modern reproductions of the pre-Columbian clay relics, and are much more common than her earlier unique pieces. She usually worked in mixed metals brass and copper, brass alone for some pins, rings and pendants, but she also made a few pieces in sterling silver, and sometimes included native stones like Mexican jade and azurmalachite among others.
All of her artwork is rare and hard to find, but her jewelry is doubly so! I've only seen a couple dozen pieces of her jewelry for sale in the last ten years! Her early pieces are marked "Nancarrow", "Mexico", and "Sterling" on the few sterling silver pieces that she made. The latter pieces made in multiples by Maya of Mexico are marked "Maya", and are attributed to Nancarrow on the basis of style construction materials etc.
This very large brooch measures 3-1/4" tall by 2" wide by over 1" deep, and weighs a super hefty 105.3 grams total. Marked on the underside as shown, "Nancarrow Mexico".
Excellent vintage condition with just fine light wear and tarnish to the metal as shown - please view the photos, read the description, and ask all questions prior to purchase. I am open to reasonable offers from serious buyers.
RARE Vintage 1940s Annette NANCARROW Mexico Handmade Brass & Ancient Pre-Columbian Clay Relic Brooch PIN
$1,295 20% Off
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