Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a sterling silver Los Castillo Mosaico Azteca bracelet c. 1950-1965 in their style or inventory number #161. The inlaid azurite, consisting of lapis lazuli and malachite pieces are accented by silver edging in an Aztec stylized symbol, possibly meant as an eagle. The shape of each piece resembles a "Y" with a jagged edge and topped by dot. The bracelet is numbered #161. The piece has 8 links which are connected with two "O" rings at the top and bottom of the design , allowing the bracelet to fit on the wrist comfortably. There is a safety chain. The bracelet is 7" closed and can be opened an additional 3" with the safety chain in place. The closure is a tongue and groove style and is secure. The bracelet weighs 50.0 grams. The back is marked with "Los Castillo" + "Taxco" + "Mosaico Azteca" + "161" + Eagle mark 15.
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 (Margot de Taxco), and their cousin Salvador Teran. The brothers 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 has always been a hallmark of the workshop. The Mosaico Azteca line was started about 1950 and continued through 1965. The techniques used to make this necklace were adapted from Aztec techniques. It is created from a silver base with raised contours outlining the design. The stone is then inlaid in the silver. Since this technique requires a precise and expert craftsman and because the stone inlay is relatively thin and brittle, the pieces were expensive and time consuming to produce. The malachite/ azurite inlay features muted green and blue colors.
The silver content of this piece has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing.
Please note that vintage jewelry has been pre-owned, worn, and loved by its owner. The charm and beauty of vintage silver Taxco jewelry comes from the unique variations and characteristics inherent in hand-wrought silver. You may be able to see the artisan's tool marks. It is not new and perfect, nor should it be. Vintage silver items may also show age appropriate tarnish. This piece has patina.
Cool Los Castillo Mosaico Azteca Bracelet #161 c. 1955