Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a sterling silver brooch/ dress or fur clip by Los Castillo of Taxco c. 1945. This bold design #401 is a pre-Eagle (before 1948) piece featuring a large flower with leaves, stamens and applied ball decoration. There is oxidation for accent on the brooch. The brooch is done in repousee and the style suggests this is either a design by Margot van Voorhies Carr (Margot de Taxco) or her influence when she was at Los Castillo. Nothing about this brooch is shy or retiring, it is 4-1/8" tall X 2-3/4" wide (maximum dimensions). There is a double fur clip fixture which has a spring mechanism and a patent number "Pat 1852188". The piece weighs 28.0 grams. It is marked "Los Castillo" + "Taxco" + "Sterling" + "Made in Mexico" + design number #401.
The Los Castillo workshop was founded in Taxco Mexico in 1939 by the Castillo brothers, Antonio, Coco and Chato, along with Antonio's wife Margot van Voorhies Carr (later Margot de Taxco), and their cousin Salvador Teran. The brothers had worked for William Spratling during the 1930's. Margot did a number of the early Los Castillo designs until she left about 1949 to start her own business. Los Castillo is still in business and is the longest continuously operating silversmith in Taxco. Design and craftsmanship have always been a hallmark of the workshop.
The silver content of this piece has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing. The silver is marked "Sterling". Repousee refers to metal that is shaped or decorated with patterns in relief made by hammering or pressing on the reverse of an object and which gives the piece a three dimensional look.
When you own vintage handmade jewelry, you wear a design that is unique and represents the artist's vision. It is made by a skilled craftsman and can have features which are only found in this piece. The jewelry may exhibit the marks of the craftsman. It will not be perfect. This piece has patina.
Old Hollywood Los Castillo Brooch/ Fur Clip c. 1945