Vintage sterling pendant or brooch from Taxco, Mexico features a mosaic of abalone inlay in an ornately worked frame. The abalone scene depicts what appears to be a quetzal, the plumed jungle bird sacred to the Mayans, its iridescent, cascading tail arched like a rainbow as it perches in a garden of flowers.
The back of the square brooch has both a pinstem with safety catch clasp and a pendant bail.
It is marked “Sterling Taxco Mex” in a ring with the maker’s initials, “MCR” in the center; this mark is listed on page 89 of Bille Hougart’s “The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks”. In addition to this mark, there is an incuse “925” stamp and a worn eagle stamp (the silhouette version used from the mid-50s through the early 70s) with the number “112’ in it; on page 115 of Hougart’s book, Eagle 112 is associated with another abalone pin, of a butterfly.
The brooch measures 1 7/8” square, and digital weight is 27.4 grams. Very good to excellent condition, with the abalone tesserae intact but a nick and 2 minute hairlines to the black matrix on the left side of the brooch, visible only through a loupe (photo #4).
Digital weight is 27.4 grams.
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