Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a Los Castillo Jewelers mid-century "Onix Negro" sterling silver pair of earrings c. 1955. These earrings feature an ancient motif. They have a jagged or stair stepped "Z" look symbol. Since symbolism was powerful in Meso American culture, the style creates a strong impact. The Onix Negro product line of these earrings offers matte black onyx deeply recessed in a silver frame for a smooth effect. The earrings are 7/8" tall X 5/8" wide (maximum dimensions). They are made with a screw back fixture. The reverse of one is marked "Los Castillo" + "Taxco" + the Eagle 15 mark + "Onix Negro". The second earring is marked "Made in Mexico" + "Sterling" + "29" (design or style number) + "Onix Negro". The earrings weigh 14.8 grams.
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 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. The early designs reflected Spanish Colonial influences. Later designs harked back to ancient designs and methods of manufacture. Aztec influences were especially common in Los Castillo jewelry. From the early 1950’s to the early 1970’s, Los Castillo created several lines of jewelry, including inlaid silver and depending on materials used, called Mosaico Azteca, Onix Negro, or Pluma Azteca. Mixed Metals or married metals (called Metales Casado and usually of copper, silver, and brass) was a great success in the company’s product line. 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" .
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. The earrings shows a light patina.