The Castillo brothers began their rich history of jewelry making under the guidance of William Spratling & in 1939 opened their own shop. They are known for their interest in pre Columbian & Aztec designs which is very evident in their work. One of the things that made Los Castillo different from their fellow craftsmen was their willingness to experiment with design techniques. Two of their most successful were their married (mixed) metal & stone inlay work. This wonderful necklace of what we are assuming to be an Aztec priest dancing is comprised of both of these techniques. It combined the use of copper, brass & a white metal that acid tests as nickel on the figure & chain links. The craftsman then used what appears to be malachite, turquoise & onyx inlay for the additional coloration on the figure. We find no harmful deep scratching or missing, repaired, cracked, dented or chipped metal or stone. You can of course find original maker flaws like 1/32" & smaller pits in the metal/inlay & some scuffing on the un patterned backside - remember we are talking handcrafting. The one thing I am sure is a wear flaw is a very very faint, shallow 1/2" scratch that is thinner then a ultra fine pen line. It is across the copper & white metal area located on the dancers lower butt/upper thigh (photo # 3). On the backside of the figure you will find the circular "Los Castillo Taxco" mark as well as the "Made in Mexico" mark. There are a multitude of Los Castillo marks out there. The big hay day for the married metals was approx 1950-70 & the necklace does not have the Mexican Registration mark for Los Castillo of TC-45 started in 1979. For this reason we are giving the piece a circa of 1960. The figure is 4" tall x 1 13/16" at it's widest point. The chain is 3/8" wide x 23 1/2" long. A super necklace from one of the most prominent Taxco smiths in two of their most famous techniques.
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